Monday, October 11th, 2010


Lipstick Comparisons: $26 to $34 (Part 1)

Though often lumped into high-end, this is a tier made up of designer brands like Chanel, Dior, and YSL. Most higher-end/designer lipsticks are scented, usually with floral or fruit. Rose seems to be the most prevalent scent found in brands across the board; sometimes it’s subtle (Chanel), while other times it’s heavy (Dolce & Gabbana). I find designer range lipsticks to be non-drying to moisturizing with more opaque formulas overall.  Packaging is often nicer, but it’s not always the case and is, inevitably, very personal.

Burberry Lip Cover ($30.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, opaque, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours), universally wearable shade range
  • NEUTRAL: 0.13 oz., no out of the box shades, heavily rose-scented
  • CONS: Hard to find in stores
  • MY REC: One characteristic that I think is noteworthy is Burberry Lip Covers are exceptionally well designed with a lot of attention paid to the details, from the gunmetal packaging to the magnetic closure to the etched check pattern on the lipstick itself. The shade range seems very flattering across skin tones with a good variety of pinks, nudes, and reds.

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick ($30.00)

  • PROS: Semi-opaque to opaque, moisturizing, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours), nice shade range
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., slightly rose-scented
  • CONS: Mostly cream/satin finishes
  • MY REC: I love how pigmented Rouge Allures are, and I find them comfortable wear; they wear for several hours and never leave my lips feeling dry. Sometimes I wish they’d make more (or some) Rouge Allures with shimmery finishes, too; it is a range dominated by satin/creamy finishes.

Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick ($30.00)

  • PROS: Lightweight, smooth, semi-opaque, many shades available but mostly wearable shades, wears 4 hours on average
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., slight rose-vanilla scent, no out of the box shades
  • CONS: Mostly shimmery/frosty finishes
  • MY REC: This is probably the least moisturizing lipstick by Chanel, though it’s not at all drying, but it won’t heal up dry or cracked lips by any means. Rouge Coco excels in being a very wearable shade range with a lightweight formula that doesn’t quite feel like your average lipstick.

Chanel Rouge Allure Laque ($32.00 for )

  • PROS: Glossy, creamy, opaque, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours), easy to apply
  • NEUTRAL: 0.20 oz., slightly rose-scented
  • CONS: Short shade range, limited finishes
  • MY REC: I almost didn’t include these, as they’re more of a liquid lipstick than the traditional bullet lipsticks that dominate this series. It’s one of my favorite lip formulas of all time, though, because it’s very comfortable to wear.

Dior Dior Addict Lipstick ($26.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, semi-sheer to semi-opaque, wears for an average of 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., heavily rose-scented
  • CONS: Short shade range with mostly pinks/reds
  • MY REC: The lipstick doesn’t feel drying but not overly moisturizing, and it only wears for an average length of time on me (4 hours), so for a higher-end lipstick, I’m not totally sold on it.

Dior Serum de Lipstick ($32.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, glossy, moisturizing, semi-opaque, several shades available (mostly wearable)
  • NEUTRAL: 0.07 oz., scented but it’s quite faint (indeterminable)
  • CONS: Very little for the money, wears off within 1 to 2 hours
  • MY REC: These are comparable to Cle de Peau’s Extra Silky Lipsticks (which retail for $52); they’re not quite as good (particularly when it comes to wear), but they’re still very similar. It’s a moisturizing formula, but given that you get very little in each (just 0.07 oz., a little over half your average lipstick) and it needs frequent reapplication, it’ll add up quickly.

Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick ($30.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, opaque, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours)
  • NEUTRAL: 0.13 oz., heavily rose-scented
  • CONS: Mostly cream/satin finishes
  • MY REC: Not as moisturizing as the Shine formula but more pigmented in return. It also wears a little longer on average. The Classic Cream formula has the same heavy rose-scent, though.

Dolce & Gabbana Shine Lipstick ($30.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, glossy, semi-opaque to opaque shade range with wearable and some “fun” colors, moisturizing, wears 4 hours on average
  • NEUTRAL: 0.13 oz., heavily rose-scented
  • CONS: May be difficult to find in-stores
  • MY REC: Other than it being harder to check out in person (and worse yet, Saks doesn’t have a great cosmetic return policy last I checked), I’ve had a lot of success with their Shine Lipsticks. They’re moisturizing and have lots of color pay off. I think the biggest complaint I’ve seen from others who have tried this lipstick is the scent (very strong).

The Lipstick Comparisons series is designed to provide a quick reference summary sheet for some of the many available lipstick formulas. It seems like most brands have at least a couple of formulas, if not half a dozen, and it can be difficult to find the formulas that will work best for your budget, coloring, style, or taste.

This is not necessarily a best of list, and it’s not exhaustive–it is based on actual lipsticks that I’ve tried; they are all, however, decent to excellent lipsticks. (And perhaps, some day, it will be an exhaustive list.) I have summarized my experience based on pros and cons, but also some “neutral” factors that may be pros or cons, depending on your preferences. I will update this series as I try new lipstick formulas.

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Burberry Spring/Summer 2011 @ London

The show will livestream starting 4PM (London time)!

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Burberry Ruby Lipstick
Burberry Ruby Lipstick

Burberry Ruby (18) Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a gorgeous shade of bright, lush red with a faint blue-base but not at all too cool for warmer skin tones to wear.  A few weeks ago, when I reviewed Burberry’s Russet Blush, I had so many of you ask me about the lip color–in case you missed it, Ruby was it!

It’s a nearly opaque shade that packs lots of color without feeling heavy or slick on lips.  It’s lightweight in its feel, satiny in its texture.  The application is even and smooth and doesn’t require a lot of layering (just one or two passes).  There’s a soft sheen but not really a shimmer to it.  It does have a floral scent, which is noticeable in the tube but not when I wore it.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For a beautiful, slightly blue-based red, Ruby would be a good pick.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Burberry Cameo Lipgloss
Burberry Cameo Lipgloss

Burberry Cameo (08) Lipgloss ($27.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is a beautiful shade of peachy-melon with soft golden shimmer and a nice level of glossy sheen.  It’s semi-opaque, so it delivers a healthy dosage of color to lips, but it doesn’t cover or mask your natural lip color.  Those with redder lips may find that this turns their lips a rather pretty shade of coral, because that natural redness will peek through but be lightened up by the gloss’ coloring.

Burberry’s gloss is non-sticky, not too thin or thick, and feels rather comfortable on lips.  It’s not drying, and it lasts three to four hours on me (on the longer end of gloss for me).  It does have Burberry’s floral scent, though I did not notice it lingering while I wore it, but if you tend to be sensitive to scents, particularly rose or floral ones, this might not be something to pick up scent-un-sniffed.

The packaging is right in line with the brand’s makeup range; the gunmetal, checked cap with a clear tube (so you can see the gloss color).  Burberry didn’t skimp on the product with 0.20 fl. oz., which is about average for designer brands or above average for high-end brands.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For a non-sticky gloss with medium color coverage, staying power, and a sophisticated shimmer, Burberry’s lipglosses nails all three.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Monday, August 16th, 2010

Burberry Blush Lipstick
Burberry Blush Lipstick

Burberry Blush (09) Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a pretty-in-pink touched by coral with very subtle gold micro-shimmer and mostly opaque color coverage.   It has a lovely creamy texture and a slightly glossy look. I find Burberry’s formula fairling moisturizing and long-wearing–about four hours with this shade–and comfortable to wear.

I think this is an incredibly flattering shade–it’s not too warm or cool, it’s just that right shade that will work for a variety of skin tones.   On those with pinker lips, it will turn a beautiful shade of rose, and on my lips, that hint of coral seems to strengthen than when just swatched on the skin.  The lipstick is rose-scented, though, so those with sensitive sniffers beware! I don’t really sense any taste, though. :)

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Burberry’s new lipsticks are a nice option for those with drier or more needy lips, because the formula wears well without drying lips out.  This particular shade will complement a lot of skin tones because of its more neutral undertones.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Monday, August 9th, 2010

Burberry Union Red Lipstick
Burberry Union Red Lipstick

Burberry Union Red (17) Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is an orange-based red lipstick with a subtle shine and nearly imperceptible shimmer.  It’s opaque in just one layer, and it wears comfortably on lips, as it feels lightweight and smooth.  With these deeper red shades from Burberry, I get about four hours of wear and then some staining for another hour or two.   It is scented with a rose-ish kind of scent that doesn’t bother me (nor does it linger on lips, just in the tube), but those with more sensitive noses may want to try before they buy.

The lipstick is embellished with the brand’s check pattern, and the packaging itself is a gunmetal square with a magnetic enclosure.  When you slip the case back on, it automatically twists into place and clicks together (very fun to play around with!).  You get a good amount (lipsticks average around 0.12 oz.), and the price is in line with other designer high-end brands.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like creamy, rich shades of red that lean a little orange, Union Red might be something right up your alley. I like orange-reds best on warmer skin tones, but this one doesn’t lean too orange, so it can definitely be worn by those with cooler skin tones as well.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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