Wednesday, November 6th, 2013


Holiday Indulgences

One question I get asked a lot prior to Sephora’s winter sale (20% off for VIBs with code VIBTOPIA, 11/7 through 11/11!) is, “What do you recommend?” This is a loaded question! There are so many ways to answer this question! The way I tend to frame my answer is in the context of, “What have I wanted to buy but felt was a little too expensive normally? What favorites do I need to stock-up on?” I think sales offer us an opportunity to indulge in something that might be above our price point comfort zone the rest of the year, or be more willing to take a chance on a brand we’re not familiar with (because they’re not cheap!) as well as stock-up on things we know we’ll use over and over again.

Of course, it being the holiday season, there are also plenty of seasonal offerings to indulge in like sets and palettes–you can see my top palette picks in full here as well as some picks for sets and kits generally. Those both cover some of the seasonal offerings, and this post is less focused on seasonal/limited edition as it is just really fantastic products that I highly recommend from trying them.

Products to Indulge In — Lips

  • Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick ($22 @ Sephora, see my review here) — great if you love creamy, more emollient lipsticks with high pigmentation and moderate lasting power
  • YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains ($34 @ Sephora, see my review here) — long-wearing, moderately pigmented color that doesn’t dry out lips
  • Givenchy Le Rouge ($36 @ Sephora, see my review here) — creamy, luminous opaque lip color that wears well, makes lips look smoother than they really are
  • Guerlain Rouge G Lip Color ($49.50 @ Sephora, see my review here) — Rouge G is a long-time favorite (still reigning supreme after years and years of trying new formulas) for long-wear, hydration, opacity, and feel
  • Buxom Full-Bodied Lipstick ($21 @ Sephora, see my review here) — superbly hydrating, smooth, rich color that wears well
  • Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipgloss ($24 @ Sephora, see my review here) — for a high-gloss, insanely shimmering/glimmering gloss

Products to Indulge In — Face

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush ($26 @ Sephora, see my review here) — a variety of gorgeous shades from intensely pigmented to subtly neutral with a soft, blendable formula
  • Illamasqua Velvet Blusher ($26 @ Sephora, see my review here) — perfect for someone who loves the feel and blendability of of a cream blush but look and finish of a powder
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder ($45 @ Sephora, see my review here) — a gorgeous finishing/luminizing powder to give that something special to the skin (and don’t forget the Ambient Lighting Palette!)
  • Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($ @ Sephora, see my review here) — creates a lovely, smooth canvas and helps keep makeup on longer

Products to Indulge In — Eyes

Most of what I wanted to recommend (in terms of what came to mind) were palettes, which I’ve recommended previously here.

  • Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo ($38 @ Sephora, see my review here) — buttery, soft texture and intense color payoff
  • bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow ($30 & up @ Sephora, see my review here) — one of my all-time favorite eyeshadow formulas for texture and color payoff
  • Dior Diorshow Fusion Mono Eyeshadows ($30 @ Sephora, see my review here) — obsessed with these pigmented cream eyeshadows that wear well

Products to Indulge In — Nails

  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer ($18 @ Sephora, see my review here) — high-shine, long-wearing formula with a nice range of colors/textures
  • Illamasqua Nail Varnish ($17 @ Sephora, see my review here) — one of my all-time favorites for application, wear, and range
  • Guerlain Nail Lacquer ($23 @ Sephora, see my review here) — so glossy and high-shine, pigmented, long-wearing

Products to Stock-Up On

These are your favorites, but this is a little list of basics that we sometimes blank on but often have a favorite we use quite frequently, so consider what you reach for in these product types:

  • Eyeshadow Primer
  • Lip Balm/Lip Care
  • Foundation
  • Skincare
  • Mascara
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Sprays
  • Top/Base Coats (for nails)
  • Makeup Remover

Are you indulging in Sephora’s upcoming VIB sale? What’s on your list? What would you recommend to someone?

And if you aren’t a VIB, while Sephora has hinted at upcoming promotions for BIs as well, they haven’t confirmed what that means (could just be more samples, free shipping, etc. or it could be really awesome), Beauty.com’s F&F sale is open to all with 20% off.

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Buxom Menace Full Bodied Lipstick
Buxom Menace Full Bodied Lipstick

Buxom Menace Full Bodied Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.13 oz.) is described as a “rich wine.” It’s a rich, brightened berry-red with cool undertones and very fine ruby red shimmer. It had mostly opaque color with a barely-there translucency that kept it looking more lightweight in comparison to other shades in this formula. The finish was still glossy and luminous, though. It wore well for six hours, and it left behind a berry-ish stain. When I wore it, the formula of Menace was somewhat hydrating. Guerlain Gigolo is a bit darker. Guerlain Orgueil is similar. Giorgio Armani #408 is more muted. Burberry Bright Plum is similar. See comparison swatches.

Two-Timer Full Bodied Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.13 oz.) is described as an “earthy rose.” It’s a medium, rosy brown with some peach with a creamy, shiny finish. It full, opaque color coverage, and it glided on easily as the formula was very creamy and a cinch to apply. It wore well for five hours, and it was nicely hydrating the entire time. Givenchy Croisiere Coral is more orange, less glossy. Urban Decay Liar is rosier. Urban Decay Protest is a touch brighter. MAC Style Surge is less rosy. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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Menace

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Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Two-Timer

A

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Buxom Nudist Full Bodied Lipstick
Buxom Nudist Full Bodied Lipstick

Buxom Nudist Full Bodied Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.13 oz.) is described as a “nude beige.” It’s a pale, warm-toned beige with a soft beige shimmer. It had semi-opaque color but was noticeably translucent, and it was a tad streaky–you could see little lines here and there. This was actually my least favorite of the entire range, because it just didn’t have the same luminous, rich look of the rest of the range. It lasted well for four hours, which is about average, and was marginally hydrating. MAC Pret-a-pretty is paler. Tom Ford Blush Nude is somewhat darker. MAC Innocence, Beware is pinker, darker. See comparison swatches.

Hooligan Full Bodied Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.13 oz.) is described as a “mauve plum.” It’s a reddish, warm-toned plum with a glossy shine. It had opaque color payoff that looked lush and rich. The consistency is creamy with a slightly thicker feel than some lipsticks, but that texture helps to give it a very juicy finish. It wore well for five and a half hours, and it was hydrating while worn (as well as some hydration lingered afterward). Urban Decay Strip is browner, less plum. Revlon Pink Truffle is less glossy, not opaque. Chanel Etole is darker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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Nudist

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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product

Hooligan

A

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Buxom Door's Unlocked Hold the Line Eyeliner
Buxom Door’s Unlocked Hold the Line Eyeliner

Buxom Door’s Unlocked Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “metallic purple.” It’s a brightened, medium-dark violet purple with fuchsia undertones and a satiny sheen. In a single pass, it had rather weak color payoff, and it was only buildable to about semi-opaque color (about 80%). The consistency was a bit drier compared to other shades, though it wore well for ten hours before starting to thin. Urban Decay Ransom is very similar. MAC Designer Purple is darker, less fuchsia-toned. See comparison swatches.

I’ll Be Waiting Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “sparkling gunmetal gray.” It’s a medium silver-shimmered gray with a pearly sheen. It’s a bit darker than most silvers, but it is more metallic than just a gray shade. It had so-so color payoff in a single stroke, and it was slightly drier (but I wouldn’t describe it as dry, it was still quite creamy and glided across the skin easily) and only layered to semi-opaque color. It lasted nine and a half hours on my lower lash line and then started to thin. Bobbi Brown Chrome is lighter, more silver. Chanel Gris Scintillante is darker. See comparison swatches.

Pick Me Up Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “sparkling denim blue.” It’s a brightened navy blue with a pearly sheen. It had semi-opaque color payoff in one layer, and it was buildable to mostly opaque color in two to three layers. This shade wore well for ten and a half hours before fading. MAC Blue Stripe is a touch darker. MAC Petrol Blue is darker. See comparison swatches.

Ring My Bell Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as an “emerald green.” It’s a medium-dark, blue-tinged green with a matte finish. It had so-so color payoff in a single stroke, but it was buildable to opaque color in two to three layers. It wore well for ten and a half hours and then began to fade. Revlon Emerald is a touch bluer. Sephora Good Mood is shimmery. Make Up For Ever #4K is similar. See comparison swatches.

Hold the Line Waterproof Eyelinersr ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) are supposed to “glide on like a gel” and wear for 14 hours. The formula is also supposed to be waterproof, transfer- and smudge-proof. I’ve been wearing these eyeliners on and off for the past few weeks, and while I like the formula a lot, a few of these shades could use more pigmentation, and of course, they don’t deliver on the 14 hours of wear as promised. They’re very long-wearing, relative to other eyeliners, at ten hours or so (on average), but it is significantly short of 14. The pencils had a creamy, glide-on consistency that didn’t skip or tug on the lash line.

The Glossover

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Door's Unlocked

C+

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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product

I'll Be Waiting

C+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Pick Me Up

B

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, September 13th, 2013

Buxom Call Me Hold the Line Eyeliner
Buxom Call Me Hold the Line Eyeliner

Buxom Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a recently released formula that’s supposed to “glide on like a gel” and wear for 14 hours. The formula is also supposed to be waterproof, transfer- and smudge-proof. I’ve been wearing these eyeliners on and off for the past few weeks, and I really like the formula. I wouldn’t say it delivers fully on a full 14 hours of wear, but they are long-wearing (great wear for first ten hours, then there is fading–where the eyeliner appears thinner but not smudged). There is definitely visible color there 14 hours later, though, but it’s not at the same intensity or thickness as originally applied. The color payoff is good overall, but it does vary from shade to shade. The pencils had a creamy, glide-on consistency that didn’t skip or tug on the lash line.

There are eight shades in the formula, and this post features four of them, and I will be reviewing the other four soon! :)

Call Me Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “jet black.” It’s a rich, deep dark black with a barely-there satin sheen. It had excellent color payoff, and it applied smoothly and evenly. It wore well for ten hours on my lower lash line. By no means an original shade but I would expect most brands to include a rich black eyeliner in any formula’s range, so this is just one more high-quality option to choose from. Because there is not much to say about the differences, I’ve just pulled several deep blacks but they’re all quite similar: See comparison swatches.

Come Over Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “sparkling bronze.” It’s a warm-toned, bronze and copper-shimmered bronze brown with a sparkly finish. It had decent to good color payoff in a single stroke, and it was buildable to mostly opaque color coverage. It didn’t tug or pull at the lash line, but it wasn’t as creamy as the more matte/satin shades. This shade lasted for ten and a half hours on my lower lash line. Make Up For Ever #25L is matte and darker. Bobbi Brown Bronze is warmer, less sparkly. Urban Decay Hustle is less sparkly. MAC Lord It Up is darker. MAC Orpheus is much darker. Burberry Midnight Brown is slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

Here’s My Number Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “dark chocolate.” It’s a deep, dark brown with warm, orange-red undertones and a matte finish. It had good pigmentation in a single stroke, and it was very creamy and easily applied. It wore nicely for a full ten and a half hours before starting to thin. Bobbi Brown Chocolate is slightly less matte. Urban Decay Demolition is similar. MAC Rich Experience is very comparable. Estee Lauder Blackened Cocoa is darker. Bobbi Brown Mahogany is slightly less warm-toned. See comparison swatches.

Knock Twice Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “metallic deep champagne.” It’s a soft, muted bronze with a champagne shimmer-sheen finish. It’s darker than champagne, but it’s not too dark–this shade gets completely lost against my skin tone, as a reference, and I would not recommend for anyone who has a similar skin tone (it just feels like it never shows up to the party) but it may work well on fairer and deeper complexions where there would be more contrast. I wish it was a champagne, though, as it would work well for brightening in particular! This shade was also sheer when applied in one layer, and it was buildable in three to four layers to about 80% opacity.  The consistency was very creamy, though, even if pigment was difficult to get out of it!  Knock Twice seemed to wear well for ten hours on me–I used a magnifying mirror and was able to at least see the shimmer and a slight darkening, but it wasn’t quite as easy to measure the wear compared to the other shades (on me). MAC Deliciously Rich is a gel eyeliner, and the color is darker and has more sparkle. Urban Decay Hustle is darker and warmer. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

product

Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner

B+

I've been wearing these eyeliners on and off for the past few weeks, and I really like the formula. I wouldn't say it delivers fully on a full 14 hours of wear, but they are long-wearing (great wear for first ten hours, then there is fading--where the eyeliner appears thinner but not smudged). There is definitely visible color there 14 hours later, though, but it's not at the same intensity or thickness as originally applied.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Call Me

A

By no means an original shade but I would expect most brands to include a rich black eyeliner in any formula's range, so this is just one more high-quality option to choose from.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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product

Come Over

B

It had decent to good color payoff in a single stroke, and it was buildable to mostly opaque color coverage. It didn't tug or pull at the lash line, but it wasn't as creamy as the more matte/satin shades.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, August 19th, 2013

From blushes to lipsticks, I have my personal five favorites for fall lip color! This idea is courtesy of readers Maribel, Sara, Shahnaz, Camille, and Rebecca, who all wanted to see some great shades for autumn. As always, I look forward to hearing about your top five!

  1. NARS Train Bleu — matte, purple berry
  2. Burberry Bright Plum — bright, bold berry-pink
  3. MAC Endless Drama — deep red
  4. Buxom Runaway — rusty plum
  5. Urban Decay Venom — shimmering berry

What are your top five fall lip colors?