Monday, October 18th, 2010

Chanel Charming Glossimer
Chanel Charming Glossimer

Chanel Holiday 2010: Charming

Chanel Charming Glossimer ($27.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) is a sheer barely-there pink gloss with pink shimmer. It is new and limited edition from Chanel’s holiday collection. The gloss itself is nearly colorless, but the shimmer is colored enough that it’s noticeable when worn. It’s a very minimal, easy-to-wear kind of shade that will be a must for some and a, “So what?” kind of gloss for others. Charming can be worn alone for a little dazzle or layered on top of lipsticks to add shine and shimmer.

Glossimers are nearly non-sticky but still have a little tackiness to them, though they are lightweight, non-drying, and last three to four hours on me.   They’re scent- and taste-free as well.  Some of them are more pigmented but the majority have been on the sheerer side based on my experience.

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

RECOMMENDATION: It’s not the most unique or original shade, but it’s the kind of shade that one could wear all the time, too.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Chanel Patchouli Rouge Coco Lipstick
Chanel Patchouli Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel Holiday 2010: Patchouli

Chanel Patchouli Rouge Coco Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a new and limited edition shade from the brand’s holiday collection.  Patchouli is a light semi-sheer coral with peach and gold shimmer–it’s also a little glossier than the average Rouge Coco and feels more moisturizing.  It seems to apply less evenly than some of the other shades in the range, but it makes for a really nice everyday color that pops on its own but still plays well with others.

Rouge Coco is a slightly drier formula, because most of the shades are frost finishes, but I don’t find it drying–it’s just not moisturizing.  It has a light vanilla-rose scent that’s rather faint but still detectable.  It doesn’t seem to linger, though.  On average, Rouge Cocos last four hours on me.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For those with warmer skin tones, I think this will be incredibly flattering.  It may be a bit orange-y on those with very cool toned skin, though.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Chanel Tweed Fuchsia Blush
Chanel Tweed Fuchsia Tissages de Chanel

Chanel Holiday 2010: Tweed Fuchsia

Chanel Tweed Fuchsia Tissages de Chanel ($45.00 for 0.19 oz.) is a cotton candy pink with slight blue undertones. It has golden shimmer patterned on the top of the blush, but underneath, it’s much subtler and interlaced with the blush itself. It’s almost like micro-glitter rather than regular shimmer, but a lot of it seems to disappear or get eaten up by the brush, so the effect isn’t like a disco ball. (And again, much of the glittery bits are overspray and will be gone after a use or two.)

Tweed Fuchsia, like several of the other Tweed varieties, does feel like it has a little more shimmer than the Joue Contrastes, which have a glowier kind of look when worn. The blue undertone of this pink isn’t too strong, though it gets stronger the heavier the color is used. When I wore it on my cheeks, it almost looked neutral! It also layered well, so you could build up the color for a more intense cheek or keep it soft for an everyday look.

It’s a pretty pink, but it’s a shade I’ve definitely seen before–if you have Pink Explosion from fall, you might find this quite easy to pass by.

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

RECOMMENDATION: This is a flattering shade of pink on both cool and warm skin tones, because it doesn’t lean too blue.  It’s also buildable, which makes it more versatile as you can pair it with heavier, smokier or barely-there looks.  However, you may want to check your stash to see if you have something similar.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Chanel Tentation Cuivree Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Tentation Cuivree Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Holiday 2010: Tentation Cuivree

Chanel Tentation Cuivree Eyeshadow Quad ($56.00 for 0.24 oz.) is new for holiday, and just like everything else in the collection, it is also limited edition. It’s a rather neutral quad with a smoky brown edge. I actually mean neutral in overall color scheme while the undertone is slightly warm but not much so.

The quad consists of a medium-dark cocoa brown with flecks of silver and bronze shimmer-glitter; softened champagne with a frost finish; high-shine light-medium pink with subtle yellow undertones; and a dark cocoa brown with flashes of molten bronze shimmer. Chanel’s eyeshadow quads can be used wet or dry (with no effect on the eyeshadows themselves), and the two lighter shades look about the same regardless, while both browns deepen. Funny enough, when used wet, the darkest brown seems to loses some of the copper flecks.

Overseas, the circular eyeshadow pans are the norm, while U.S. quads come in square pans typically. I’m not sure whether the change is just for holiday or going forward. I think I prefer the square pans; perhaps that pyramid shape lends it a bit of sophistication that the circular pans lack. It almost looks like a knockoff to me, but I imagine that’s also due to the fact that I’m not used to seeing it that way more than anything.

I don’t love this eyeshadow quad, and I don’t think it’s exactly the same in texture as other quads. It’s not quite as buttery or as smooth. I had some trouble with the medium brown swatching dry, though it sure came together when used wet. This quad is shimmer-heavy, with both of the brown shades having more of a micro-glitter effect than shimmer/sheen, so there is a touch of fall out, which I don’t usually associate with Chanel.

It’s nice but not knock-your-socks-off stunning. I like but don’t love, you know? The quality just isn’t quite there for me, and the abundance of shimmer and frost (and even a bit of glitter) came as a surprise. It’s worth taking a peek at, though!

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think warmer beauties will find it very easy to use and a good go-to for smoky brown looks. It will still be nice on cooler skin, but it may not feel quite as complimentary (if you find warmer browns go red on you, I’d skip this).

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Monday, October 11th, 2010

Chanel Pink Pulsion Glossimer
Chanel Pink Pulsion Glossimer

Chanel Holiday 2010: Pink Pulsion

Chanel Pink Pulsion Glossimer ($27.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) is a brightened fuchsia pink with medium pink shimmer. It’s semi-sheer on my lips; it gives them a nice dose of pink and glossiness with subtle shimmer that sparkles like glinting water. It’s a new and limited shade from their holiday collection, which is complemented by two other shades (to be reviewed). Glossimers are not quite perfectly non-sticky, but they don’t have much tackiness to them. They’re lightweight, on the sheerer side, and wear three to four hours on me. In order to get the full effect of a Glossimer, though, you have to see it dance in the sunlight!

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: It’s not the most original or showstopping color, but I like it a lot.  I see this as a shade I’d really like best and use most often over lipsticks to give an extra dazzle and glossiness.  I think if you’re looking for only the most original shades, you could skip this, but if you like your glossimers with a little more color, Pink Pulsion might be worth looking into.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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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.