Thursday, July 10, 2014

Test Driven ::: Dolce & Gabbana Cosmetics

All images by {accordingtoame}

A few months back, the Dolce & Gabbana cosmetics line (finally) hit Having lusted after the products since reading about them in several magazines and having seen Scarlett Johanssen's beautiful ads grace the very same magazines for quite some time, I pounced.

Several of the products are also now available at Sephora, but at the time, I had Nordstrom gift cards burning a hole in my wallet. Several blogs had reviewed the products quite favorably, and the Smoky eye quad got raves from Makeup & Beauty Blog, which is a pretty trusty resource for me.  As soon as the products were available for purchase I picked a few, the Powder Foundation, the Smoky Quad, and the Matte Concealer, and checked out, eagerly awaiting my order's arrival.

Upon arrival, I tore the box open and stared lovingly at the magnificent packaging. It is not an inexpensive line by any stretch. And as such, you expect the packaging to reflect that. So I was not disappointed, because it was absolutely magnificent. This packaging screamed high end. The packaging was well made, and beautiful. The hinges on the compacts were very smooth, as were the clasps. Each had a nice dustbag to slip into, which was blind-embossed.  The powders themselves are also embossed with crisp logos.  Every detail was executed perfectly.

From here I will break down my thoughts by item, and photo bomb you. Some of the photos I got of my face didn't come out as well as I'd hoped and the clear ones weren't good so I just stuck with the blurry ones. Please note, I do a lot of these review images at 5:30 am, so I am not always the picture of bubbly happiness I am known for. (All of you who know me in real life can stop laughing maniacally now. *points*)


Dolce & Gabbana Beauty Perfect Matte Powder Foundation :::  $60, and

Again, the packaging was divine.  Really beautiful compact and a thick, velvety sponge. Nicely embossed logo in the surface of the product. If I was to change a thing, it would be to have some sort of "ventilation" in the bottom chamber. If you used that sponge and did so with a dampened application, the mold that would grow would be sickening.

However, the shade selection was not easy.  There's practically no swatching done online for this product, and I had to guess, and even call for help. After speaking with both a Nordstrom Beauty specialist and a Sephora Beauty specialist, I was pretty sure I was somewhere between Ivory, Natural and Bisque. I ended up with Bisque based on the comment made by the Sephora specialist saying the Ivory was more neutral cool, and Natural was more neutral, but that Bisque was more yellow-olive than the others, and they were all about the same level of darkness, just tonally different. I told both a few close matches for me in other product lines, so that they had at least something to go on (pale, jaundiced, peaked and slightly olivine...) I figured that was a good starting point. 

I went based on the Sephora specialist's description, and she NAILED IT. I think the Bisque was pretty much bang-on. I actually regret not having given her the sale, even though I wasn't as impressed with the product.  For reference, my comparisons here are next to Bare Minerals Ready Foundation in Golden Fair.

Aside from the color being great, formula-wise, I was less wowwed. It felt nice on the skin, and it was beautiful on the skin at first application, but there just wasn't any coverage, and it didn't seem worth the $60 for something that offered me little improvement over my usual Mineral Veil dusting.  

I tried it both wet and dry, with the included sponge, a Beauty Blender, with the Mineral Veil puffs (they seriously are amazing, I wish Leslie Blodgett would sell them separately!) and with a brush, and while wet did offer a slight bump in coverage, it didn't improve it enough to justify the price, and it changed the color slightly, in a negative direction. Either way, staying power, with and without any sort of primer, was not favorable. 

 It was a nice setting powder over another product, say foundation or concealer, but I don't need to spend $60 a compact for setting powder when my mineral veil at 1/3 of that price works better, and doesn't change color. I ended up returning it. 

Dolce & Gabbana Beauty Perfect Matte Concealer ::: $41, and

I had issues in regards to shade selection with this item as well, though I winged it here and luckily the shade I picked was great. There just was no one with any swatches out there, and I saw no reviews of this anywhere. 

I selected Classic, which was 2nd from lightest. It was actually yellower than I expected in a good way, and beautiful. Perfect shade actually, especially when used on the rest of the face versus just under the eyes.  For comparison, it's next to NARS Vanilla Radiant Creamy Concealer. 

The texture was kind of "whipped", and felt a little like a slick mousse, very silicone rich and fluffy. It was a very beautiful texture, very soft, however despite it's lovely feel, it didn't blend very well and was absolutely not buildable. 

It did not layer on itself well at all. It did dry down nicely, but did not last on the skin. The coverage was disappointing in general.  It would be ideal for someone who had very little to conceal, who needs more than a YSL Touche Eclat/Givenchy Mister Light can handle, but less than a really good concealer.

This one went back as well.   And the salespeople at Nordstrom, when I returned them, were all flocking to see the elusive D&G products, as it had never been "seen in the wild" before that day. It was actually funny, the sales associate handling the return audibly gasped and said "oh my god, the D&G stuff! I've never gotten to hold it in my hand before!" And literally within 10 seconds I think the entire sales floor of cosmetics was crowded around us. 

Dolce & Gabbana Beauty Smooth Eyecolor Quad in Smoky ::: $60, and

I saved the best for last! The piece de resistance! If ever there was an eyeshadow quad compact made for me, this would be it. If I was going to voice one "complaint" about it, I wish that one of the lighter shades, was more maybe pinkish than it is, for a more champagney/rose-gold hue than gold. Then it would truly be perfection. You can tightline with the black, you can line and smoke with the bronze, you can warm up and shimmer across the lid with the gold and the white (it's very stark white in person) can really highlight around your undereyes and tear ducts. 

Despite the horrible colors on the screen due to the horrible lighting of the photography...the colors are really rich.  Individually, the black is absolutely sooty, and in the best way. It's great for tightlining, especially. But it blends magnificently when worn just along the lashline as shadow.  The bronze...*sigh* it is absolutely perfection. Delicious is the word I would use.  The Tarte pencil I love and use every day, is almost a perfect match so I often will line first with that, and apply this gorgeous shadow over top of it, and the smoke factor really is incredible.  The wheaty gold shade is a great base shade for the lid. It's a nice sweep of sheer and naked neutral that grounds the smoke, but it's still present.  The white is a very stark pop of iridescent gold highlight. I don't use it often, but it's a very nice highlighter around the brow bone and inner corner that gives me more contrast than my usual Champagne from Cover Girl. 

The pigment is very intense and a little goes such a long way. And the longevity is seriously second to none. I applied this at 5:30am the very first time I used it, and it was still going strong at 10:00pm that evening, and that's without primer. Every time I have used it since has been the same experience.

It doesn't flake or have a lot of fallout, either.  I rely on the black and bronze the most in this palette and use the mid-tone gold on the lid occasionally. I have barely touched the white, only because I find myself not needing the pop.  If the black and bronze were their own duo, I'd buy a stockpile. Because I am a hoarder.

I keep hoping one of my local stores, Sephora or Nordstrom, will get the line in house versus just online, so that I can see some of the other quads in person, because I'd definitely like another from the line. The quality is magnificent. This one is worth the money, for sure, and because it seriously seems like it will last forever, it's got excellent cost-per-use.

I'd bought and subsequently returned the Tom Ford quads, because while the shadows were nice, at least one pan in each quad was glitter, and for a quad to be that pricey and not be four actual usable shadows, and instead a pan of glitter I would never use and see no reason an adult woman would have a reason to own....I found that offensive. These quads are exquisite, and worth every penny. I have now had this for several months and I reach for it regularly. It still looks like I've barely touched it.  To me, it's like a pared down Naked palette with really wearable shades. 

Overall, I think the shadows are a worthwhile investment, but for me, the concealer and foundation powder are a bust.  In terms of wear alone, the shadow lasting all day and then some made it a win right there.  But in these early morning vs mid-day shots, you can tell that the undereyes and foundation are really starting to fade at mid-day but my eyes themselves are still rockin'. Well, I can tell, but I was there. 

You can obtain all of these items, and more from the Dolce and Gabbana cosmetics collection at and 

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