Thursday, March 24th, 2011


5 Brands Worth Tracking Down

These brands are impossible to find, and with so many brands online, it’s easier than ever to find niche beauty brands. These are five brands that you just won’t find in stores all over the place but are worth buying sight unseen.

Le Metier de Beaute is a beautifully done line with really nuanced colors, well-thought out formulas, and full range of products. I fell in love with the brand a couple of years ago after stopping by one of a handful of counters in New York City. Their distribution has increased tremendously in the past year, but they are still harder to find in stores. My favorite products are their blushes and Lip Cremes.

Burberry created a line with a surprising amount of success–it does not feel like they rested on their brand name to carry them forward. They created a color range that worked with the brand’s image–simple, elegant, timeless. The textures equally in line with their image; silky, smooth, never too shimmery or too much. My favorite products are their eyeshadows, blushes, and lipsticks. Burberry Trench is my go-to highlighter.

Rescue Beauty Lounge is a brand that is so relatable. The creator, Ji, interacts with fans and customers so well and thoroughly that you feel like you are following her on her journey of creating new shades. There is truly something special about the way Rescue Beauty Lounge listens to their customers and finds ways to give them yet one more reason to love the brand. Many of the polishes have subtlties that make a shade unique–on top of an excellent, long-wearing, beautifully-applying formula.

Paul & Joe Beaute has such darling packaging but the products inside are equally, if not more so, deserving of praise and attention. There is a certain softness to their range, with some playfulness, and always enough creativity to keep the brand elevated from same ol’, same ol’. My favorite product is their eyeshadows!

Nubar is a brand I know I would have never heard of had i not been a beauty blogger or thoroughly immersed in the online beauty community. It is a brand that does nail polish exceptionally well. I always feel like Nubar does their own thing; you never quite know what to expect from them–sometimes it seems fitting to the season, other times they create shades you may not think you’d wear.

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Burberry Midnight Brown (02) Eye Definer Pencil
Burberry Midnight Brown (02) Eye Definer Pencil

Burberry Breaks My Heart

Burberry Midnight Brown Eye Definer Pencil ($27.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a rich, dark brown with golden flecks and subtly cool undertones. As beautiful as the color is, I didn’t have good luck with wear. When I wore it on the lower lash line, it seemed to disappear significantly within three to four hours.

It was creamy enough to apply a smooth, precise line without tugging on the lash line. The texture actually gave me false hope, because it seemed dry enough that it would have no problem staying put! I loved that it is a true pencil but the pencil itself did not feel harsh against my lid or lash line.

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  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The color is gorgeous, and it would work so well with green and hazel eyes, but the wearability left too much to be desired to recommend it as a purchase.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Burberry Lip Charm

Burberry for Holiday 2010

Burberry Beauty Lip Charm ($85.00) (Limited Edition)

The charm draws inspiration from the Burberry Accessories collections featuring iconic Burberry gun metal check casing and trench-colored outer packaging. Three gun-metal cubes embossed with the iconic Burberry check cascade from a key chain. Cleverly concealed within the largest of the cubes is a convenient serving of Burberry Beauty’s Lip Glow in Nude Beige. The Burberry Beauty Lip Charm offers a natural-looking gloss to create effortless glow with a fluid finish.

Availability: Nordstrom

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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