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Best Lipsticks | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

Best Lipsticks | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again:  holiday gift guides aplenty!  This year, I’ve broken out my gift guides into best of selections for blush, eyeshadow, highlighter, lipstick, lipgloss, palettes, and brushes.  These guides feature permanent formulas so that they can be useful anytime during the holiday season or even into next year.  For limited edition holiday products, you can check out our list of the top 50 highest-rated holiday products, which updates as I post more reviews for holiday products. Here’s a look at the best lipstick formulas I’ve tried:

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.15 oz.) is supposed to have “bold, creamy color” with “extreme moisture, soft texture, and creamy wear.” The majority of the range is very pigmented–typically opaque with one pass–with a few shades being semi-opaque but usually buildable. The majority of the shades I’ve tested have been lightly hydrating to non-drying and fairly comfortable to wear for the long-haul. They wear longer than average, from four to eight hours, depending on the intensity and propensity of the shade to stain. The range is rather extensive with over 30 shades, so you may find our top 15 best Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks list useful. Some of my favorite shades are: Pickled Ginger, Kale, Sour Cherry, and Spritzer.

Availability

Sephora

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Best Highlighters | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

Best Highlighters | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again:  holiday gift guides aplenty!  This year, I’ve broken out my gift guides into best of selections for blush, eyeshadow, highlighter, lipstick, lipgloss, palettes, and brushes.  These guides feature permanent formulas so that they can be useful anytime during the holiday season or even into next year.  For limited edition holiday products, you can check out our list of the top 50 highest-rated holiday products, which updates as I post more reviews for holiday products.  I hope you find this list of top performing highlighters useful 🙂

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder ($44.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a luminous, powder highlighter that strikes the right balance between being noticeable without emphasizing the skin’s natural texture. The shimmer is fine, while the powder is silky and smooth. There are only three shades at the moment, and the one I use the most is Starlight, which works as a highlighting blush on my skin tone.

Availability

Sephora, Nordstrom, Beautylish, Neiman Marcus,

Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Trio

Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette
Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette

Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette ($69.00 for 0.52 oz.) includes three Shimmer Bricks, which are very shimmery powders. Each Shimmer Brick has five shades, so the color that you get can vary depending on where you concentrate your brush. All three shades have been released before, though only Bronze is part of the permanent range from what I could tell! It’s a powder highlight that features five colors, which are designed to be used together (though you can concentrate your brush in areas as well, or if you have an eye brush, you can use them individually) and applied to the face to highlight.

The three included in the palette all highlight the skin and add noticeable color on my light-medium complexion, so they be even more blush-like on fairer complexion and will likely show up on deeper skin tones with subtler tints. The texture of Gold and Bronze was smoother and more finely-milled with less overt sparkle, whereas Wild Rose was drier and seemed to have larger chunks of sparkle, which were more prone to emphasizing the skin’s natural texture. They were easy to apply, wore for about eight hours, and are well-worth a look for someone who likes a more intense, noticeable highlight. They’re the type of highlighter where a little can go a long way to adding luminosity, so they can definitely be too intense for some people’s preferences.

Value

  • Cost of full-size: $46.00 for 0.40 oz., $115.00/oz.
  • Cost of palette: $69.00 for 0.52 oz., $132.69/oz.
  • Value: $59.80

Gold is a light-medium gold with warm, yellow undertones paired with a frosted, lightly metallic finish. It had good pigmentation with a soft, smooth texture that blended out easily on the skin. I did not find that it emphasized my skin’s natural texture, but it does have a strong sheen to its finish. This shade wore well for eight hours before starting to fade. Looxi Beauty Centerfold (P, $7.50) is more shimmery, warmer, lower quality (95% similar). Chanel Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder (LE, $70.00) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar). L'Oreal Golden (P, $12.99) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Anastasia Dripping in Gold (LE, ) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar). Becca Champagne Gold (LE, $38.00) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Anastasia Golden Dawn (LE, ) is darker (90% similar). Looxi Beauty Luxe (P, $7.50) is warmer (90% similar). Laura Mercier Addiction (P, $44.00) is darker (90% similar). Becca Prosecco Pop (P, $38.00) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar). Anastasia White Sand (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Anastasia Butterscotch (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Reflects Gilt (Top) (LE, ) is warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Bronze is a medium-dark, coppery brown with warm, reddish undertones and a softer, light-medium golden bronze shimmer. The pigmentation was rich, but the texture was soft and blendable, so it could easily be applied in sheerer layers or diffused for less intense coverage if desired–a little did go a long way, though, and I’d recommend using a lighter hand initially. On me, the powder lasted eight hours before fading. Colour Pop Glo Up (LE, $8.00) is lighter (95% similar). Makeup Geek Ignite (P, $20.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Colour Pop Candyman (P, $8.00) is darker (95% similar). Anastasia Bronzed (LE, ) is warmer (95% similar). LORAC Spotlight (LE, $23.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Cover FX Candlelight (P, $42.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Colour Pop Avalon (LE, $8.00) is brighter, warmer (90% similar). Cover FX Candlelight (P, $34.00) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar). Colour Pop Do Not Disturb (P, $8.00) is darker (90% similar). Dior #004 (P, $56.00) is lighter, cooler (85% similar). Stila Kitten (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter (80% similar). Bobbi Brown Nude Glow (LE, $46.00) is lighter, brighter (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Wild Rose is a slightly muted, medium-dark pink with warm undertones and cooler, frosty pink shimmer. The shimmer particles in this shade seemed larger with both finer and more obvious flecks of sparkle used, which gave it a bit of a drier, looser consistency that was sheerer in coverage. The texture and shimmer in this one did emphasize my pores a bit, making them seem larger than they were. I didn’t have any trouble blending out the color, though, and it still wore for eight hours like the other two. Anastasia Sassy Grape (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter, brighter (95% similar). Makeup Geek Starlight (LE, $20.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Makeup Revolution Peach Kiss (P, $9.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Becca Amethyst Flashes Geode (LE, $34.00) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Starlight (P, $52.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Bobbi Brown Lilac Rose (LE, $46.00) is cooler (90% similar). Huda Beauty Ibiza (LE, ) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Looxi Beauty Venom (P, $7.50) is warmer (85% similar). Huda Beauty Zanzibar (LE, ) is lighter, warmer (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Palette (Holiday 2016) Bobbi to Glow
9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
90%
Total
See All Glossovers

Also In This Review

A

Gold

Limited Edition
Read Review
A

Bronze

Permanent
Read Review
B

Wild Rose

Limited Edition
Read Review
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Round-up: Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color Extensions (Fall 2016) Overview

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Colors
Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Colors

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is supposed to have one-stroke color coverage with a hydrating, smoothing formula, and “nourishing shine.” I was impressed with the formula as a whole, as the majority of the shades were very pigmented in one pass with a creamy consistency that glided on easily. There’s a richness to the texture that does feel more “luxe” in a way. The natural-to-luminous shine level gives lips a smoother, plumper look, while the formula itself is hydrating and many shades are longer wearing. I noticed that the lighter shades tended to perform more poorly relative to more light-medium to medium-dark-hued shades. There was a faint floral scent (that was a surprise, I wish they had gone the unscented!), but I didn’t have issues with taste and found it very subtle on.

The new shades are nice to see to the line, as it shows that the range has been successful enough to merit shade extensions!

01

Bobbi Brown Bond

PPermanent. $35.00/0.13 oz.

Bobbi Brown Bond Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, muted plum with subtle, warm undertones and a lightly glossy, cream finish. Read full review.

Wishlist
Vanity

02. Bobbi Brown Uber Rose

Bobbi Brown Uber Rose Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium-dark plum with subtle, cool undertones and a creamy, lightly glossy finish. Read full review.

A

03. Bobbi Brown Flame

Bobbi Brown Flame Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) was a bright, medium-dark orange-red with strong, red undertones and a satiny sheen. Read full review.

A

04. Bobbi Brown Bahama Brown

Bobbi Brown Bahama Brown Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a muted, medium rosy mauve with warm undertones and a cream finish. Read full review.

A

05. Bobbi Brown Bobbi

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is supposed to have one-stroke color coverage with a hydrating, smoothing formula, and "nourishing shine." Read full review.

A

06. Bobbi Brown Uber Beige

Bobbi Brown Uber Beige Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium brown with subtle warm, rosy undertones and a creamy finish. Read full review.

A-

07. Bobbi Brown Imperial Red

Bobbi Brown Imperial Red Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep red with subtle, cooler, pink undertones and a glossy finish. Read full review.

A-

08. Bobbi Brown Bellini

Bobbi Brown Bellini Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium, coral-orange with warm undertones and a creamy finish with a light sheen. Read full review.

B+

09. Bobbi Brown Tahiti Pink

Bobbi Brown Tahiti Pink Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a bright, medium pink with warmer undertones and a lightly glossy finish. Read full review.

B+

Glossover Breakdown

93%

Average Score
A
7
B
2
C
0
D
0
F
0
Glossover Averages
product
9
pigmentation
9.5
texture
9
longevity
9.5
application
5
Total
93%
product
9
pigmentation
9.5
texture
9
longevity
9.5
application
5
Total
93%

Bobbi Brown Flame, Imperial Red, Bobbi Luxe Lip Colors

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color
Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color

Bobbi Brown Flame Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) was a bright, medium-dark orange-red with strong, red undertones and a satiny sheen. This shade wasn’t as glossy as others in the range, but it was still a more luminous finish overall. The texture was smooth, lightly creamy, and glided on easily. It had mostly opaque pigmentation that covered my lips evenly. I was able to wear this for six hours, and it felt moisturizing during that time. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Psycho (P, $18.00) is less glossy (95% similar). NYX Pure Red (P, $6.00) is lighter (95% similar). Urban Decay Bang (P, $17.00) is lighter, brighter (95% similar). NARS Marlene (P, $32.00) is lighter, brighter (95% similar). MAC Habanero (P, $21.00) is darker, cooler (95% similar). Bite Beauty Cayenne (P, $26.00) is lighter, brighter (95% similar). Chanel Rouge Feu (57) (P, $37.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Dior Trafalgar (844) (P, $34.00) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). Bobbi Brown Sunset Orange (P, $35.00) is lighter (90% similar). Estee Lauder Uninhibited (P, $32.00) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). Buxom Rogue (P, $21.00) is brighter (90% similar). Giorgio Armani Notorious (408) (LE, $38.00) is more shimmery, lighter, brighter (90% similar). MAC Lady Danger (P, $17.00) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). Maybelline Orange Danger (P, $7.49) is darker, cooler (90% similar). NYX Indie Flick (P, $6.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Sail La Vie (LE, $17.00) is warmer (90% similar). Make Up For Ever C403 (P, $22.00) is lighter (85% similar). Makeup Geek Free Spirit (P, $12.00) is lighter, glossier (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Bobbi Brown Imperial Red Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep red with subtle, cooler, pink undertones and a glossy finish. It had semi-opaque pigmentation, which did apply evenly and smoothly, so it looked like stain glass on the lips as there was still very rich, pronounced color on the lips. The texture was moderately emollient, so it didn’t tug while I applied, but it had more slip. I did not personally experience feathering or bleeding around the edges of my lips, but the consistency makes me think it might on others more prone to those things. This shade wore well for five and a half hours and left behind a strong stain. Make Up For Ever Raspberry Red (401) (P, $24.00) is warmer (95% similar). Chanel Memoire (224) (P, $37.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Shiseido Ruby Copper (RD501) (P, $28.00) is less glossy (95% similar). MAC Carmine Rouge (LE, $17.00) is lighter, less glossy (95% similar). Tarte Miami Vice (P, $21.00) is warmer (95% similar). Urban Decay Spiderweb (P, $17.00) is warmer (95% similar). Hourglass Icon (P, $32.00) is lighter (95% similar). MAC MAC Red (P, $17.00) is less glossy (95% similar). Stellar Beauty Super Sonic 04 (P, $22.00) is lighter (95% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Tony (P, $35.00) is less glossy (95% similar). Makeup Geek Elegant (P, $15.00) is cooler (95% similar). Burberry Ruby (434) (P, $35.00) is less glossy (95% similar). Make Up For Ever C405 (P, $22.00) is lighter (95% similar). Estee Lauder Boldface (P, $32.00) is lighter (95% similar). Bite Beauty Tannin (P, $24.00) is less glossy (95% similar). MAC Just a Bite (LE, $17.00) is less glossy (95% similar). Make Up For Ever C404 (P, $22.00) is lighter (90% similar). Bite Beauty Sour Cherry (P, $26.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). Bite Beauty Tannin (P, $26.00) is darker, more muted (90% similar). Tarte Juicy (LE, $20.00) is lighter (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Bobbi Brown Bobbi Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a muted, medium pinky-brown with subtle, warm undertones and a creamy finish. The texture was lightweight, smooth, and creamy, so it was easy to apply and comfortable to wear. It had nearly opaque pigmentation, which applied evenly, and lasted a solid four and a half hours on my lips. I felt the formula was lightly hydrating over time. Bobbi Brown Bahama Brown (P, $35.00) is darker, brighter, warmer (90% similar). MAC Spirit (P, $17.00) is warmer (90% similar). Chanel Stunt (LE, $32.00) is cooler, glossier (90% similar). Tarte Honey (LE, $20.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). MAC Spice (LE, $17.00) is warmer (85% similar). Bite Beauty Cashew (P, $24.00) is lighter, warmer, less glossy (85% similar). MAC Half 'n' Half (P, $17.00) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Smashbox On Set (P, $21.00) is lighter, cooler (80% similar). Bite Beauty Pepper (P, $26.00) is cooler (80% similar). Make Up For Ever C107 (P, $22.00) is darker, warmer (80% similar). Urban Decay Liar (P, $17.00) is lighter, warmer (80% similar). MAC Double Shot (P, $17.00) is darker, warmer (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Formula Overview

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is supposed to have one-stroke color coverage with a hydrating, smoothing formula, and “nourishing shine.” I was impressed with the formula as a whole, as the majority of the shades were very pigmented in one pass with a creamy consistency that glided on easily. There’s a richness to the texture that does feel more “luxe” in a way. The natural-to-luminous shine level gives lips a smoother, plumper look, while the formula itself is hydrating and many shades are longer wearing. I noticed that the lighter shades tended to perform more poorly relative to more light-medium to medium-dark-hued shades. There was a faint floral scent (that was a surprise, I wish they had gone the unscented!), but I didn’t have issues with taste and found it very subtle on (it’s no Dior/Chanel-level scent!). In general, I like Bobbi Brown’s lipstick formulas, and this one feels creamier and more hydrating than others, but for pigmentation, you can’t go wrong with this or the Rich Lip Color formula.

Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color Flame
Flame
Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color Imperial Red
Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color Bobbi
Bobbi

See more photos & swatches!

Sneak Peek: Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette Photos & Swatches

Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette
Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette

Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette ($69.00 for 1.02 oz.) includes three Shimmer Bricks, which are very shimmery powders. Each Shimmer Brick has five shades, so the color that you get can vary depending on where you concentrate your brush. All three shades have been relased before, though only Bronze is part of the permanent range from what I could tell!

See more photos & swatches!

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