Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011


Holiday Gift Guide: Must-Have Beauty Products for Lips

One of the things I am most thankful for is that by becoming a beauty blogger and having the opportunity to try so may different products is that it’s opened up my eyes to how many fantastic brands and formulas there are. Not every brand does everything perfectly, and there are a lot of great formulas that are just varying degrees of great. Picking a favorite really comes down to a less quantifiable factor, I think. It might be the color range, packaging, scent, or the overall feel. These are all lip products I personally recommend from brands’ permanent ranges.

Lip Balms/Treatments

  • Kiehl’s #1 Lip Balm ($7.00) is nice for those who prefer a thinner balm with no shine. It’s very, very slick and thin on the lips, but it does a good job at moisturizing.
  • Jack Black Lip Therapy Lip Balm ($7.50) is my all-time favorite lip balm, and I have them all over the house–at my desk, purse, pocket, nightstand–and a stock pile of them in reserve. So, so hydrating and comfortable to wear. My favorite flavor is Lemon & Chamomile, with Original as a runner-up.
  • Philosophy Lip Shines ($10.00) are kind of a balm, kind of a lip balm; because they tend to run so sheer and have the thicker feel of a balm, I’m going to go with it as a lip balm! I like that they’re fragranced with Philosophy’s signature scents plus have some shimmer and shine.
  • Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment ($22.50) is a decadent balm that works well but wears away quickly–I like the product, not so much the price tag and how quickly it finishes, though! They do have tinted versions, though, and they’re some of the better lip stains because they’re more hydrating, but they are prone to uneven fading.
  • Sara Happ The Lip Scrub ($24.00) is my favorite lip scrub, because it holds together well, exfoliates lips, and leaves them feeling soft and moisturized.
  • Guerlain Terracotta Baume Au Couer Lip Balm ($30.00) is tinted and feels like butter on lips; it wears for a few hours before disappearing, but it’s moisturizing the entire time.
  • La Mer The Lip Balm ($45.00) is probably the priciest lip balm I’ve ever used, but it really does work well. It hydrates lips while still wearing well (you won’t have to reapply every hour).

Lipsticks

  • CoverGirl Lip Perfection ($6.99) is really rich in color, glides on easily, and wears for hours. The downside is the scent, so if you’re super sensitive to smells, you might look elsewhere, but these perform well overall.
  • Maybelline ColorSensational Lipsticks ($8.29) is a good go-to for a more affordable lipstick brand, and of course, like other drugstore brands, you can catch it on sale for much less than $8 a pop. I find the creamier shades are the best!
  • MAC Lipsticks ($14.50) straddle that price point that doesn’t quite break the bank, feels a little more high-end than some drugstore brands, and is an all-around good formula. Their range is one of the most extensive that I know of, and with that, does come some inconsistency–not every single shade is as great as the last, but they do have several favorites. Some of these include Angel, Russian Red, Girl About Town, Crosswires, Sweetie, Cosmo, Plumful, and Media–just to scratch the surface.
  • Korres Mango Butter Lipsticks ($18.00) are lightweight, comfortable to wear, and come with a fairly glossy finish and semi-sheer color. Shades like Natural Pink and Natural Purple are really easy to wear.
  • Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Colors ($23.00) are long-wearing, opaque, and comfortable to wear. For cooler skin tones, try Bare Pink, Cosmic Raspberry, and Mod Pink. For warmer skin tones, try Cosmic Raspberry, Soft Coral, and Sweet Nectar.
  • Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani Lipsticks ($30.00) are creamy, moisturizing, and long-wearing while delivering good color coverage in over forty different shades. Shades like #400, 402, 501, and 506 are really easy to wear on most skin tones.
  • Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipsticks ($30.00) are rich in color and long on wear. For cooler complexions, I think shades like Ballet, Edition, and Fresco would work. For warmer complexions, try Edition, Muse, and Whisper.
  • Dior Rouge Dior Lip Colors ($32.00) is long-wearing and moisturizing with a wide range of shades. For warmer complexions, I recommend shades like Pink Songe, Andalouse, and Red Muse. For cooler complexions, I recommend Pink Caprice, Devilish Pink, and Daisy Plum.
  • Guerlain Rouge Automatique Lipsticks ($35.00) come really close to the Rouge G formula, but they are slightly less creamy, sometimes less opaque, and a smidgen less hydrating. They are really close but there is a noticeable difference on lips. I still really love the formula, though! For cooler complexions, I recommend Samsara, Cherry Blossom, and Champs Elysees. For warmer complexions, I recommend Violette de Mad, Rouge d’Enfer, and Coque d’Or.
  • Guerlain Rouge G Lipsticks ($47.00) is my all-time favorite lipstick formula, because it’s long-wearing, opaque, moisturizing, and the color range is really nuanced. For cooler complexions, I like Galia, Greta, Gabrielle, and Grenade. For warmer complexions, I like Galante, Gala, Gipsy, and Ginger.
  • Cle de Peau Beaute Extra Silky Lipstick ($52.00) feels like glossy silk on the lips; it’s super moisturizing and has a glossy shine. It wears well on me, too, despite how creamy it is. The shade range is really wearable and mostly universal, too.
  • Cle de Peau Beaute Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00) is a decadent formula that’s rich in color, comfortable to wear, long-wearing, and has a formula that helps to plump and fill lip lines giving lips a smoother look. It’s totally over the top, but it’s an excellent formula, so you’re not just paying for brand name/packaging here.

Lipglosses

  • Revlon Super Lustrous Lipglosses ($6.99) is a budget-friendly shimmery gloss that’s mostly sheer but delivers a fair amount of sparkle and dazzle. Like other sheer formulas, the range should work across skin tones.
  • Korres Cherry Oil Lipglosses ($17.00) are hydrating and comfortable tow ear, and about half the range delivers richer color, while others are sheerer (and are described as such). My favorites are #52, #52, and #22.
  • Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lipglosses ($18.00) is a really wide range of glosses with three different finishes. I really like how Make Up For Ever has expansive color options for most of their products, and the lipgloss range is no exception.
  • Illamasqua Intense Lipglosses ($20.00) are a total must if you or someone you know loves opaque lipglosses–these are really rich in pigment, comfortable wear, long-wearing, and have a beautiful glossy shine. I recommend virtually all of them, but a few of my favorites are Belladonna, Hermetic, and Move.
  • Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipglosses ($23.00) are a new favorite for me; they’re very reminiscent of Chanel Glossimers but more affordable. Sheerer color with lots of dazzling sparkle! Because they’re on the sheerer side, the shade range is fairly universal.
  • Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lipglosses ($28.00) are super slick, comfortable to wear, and moisturizing. Some shades are sheer, some are more pigmented. Shades like Siren are beautiful and opaque with a really interesting metallic finish. Fortune is a great shade for everyone because it’s sheer and peachy-pink.
  • Giorgio Armani Gloss d’Armanis ($28.00) may not be as long-wearing as the brand claims, but a gloss that wears six hours without drying lips out while delivering good color coverage is rare. I really love this formula, despite the shortfall in wear (relative to their claim). I love shades like #401, 402, 404, and 505.
  • Chanel Glossimers ($28.50) are a classic gloss for someone who loves lots of shimmer and glossiness. These took me awhile to appreciate, but they really do shine and sparkle. These days, most shades are sheer, so they should flatter the full spectrum of skin tones. I really like shades such as Aurore, Coral Love, Futile, Meteore, Spark, and Sundress.
  • Le Metier de Beaute Lip Cremes ($36.00) are extremely creamy, non-sticky, and hydrating. It was one of my first high-end glosses (and probably high-end purchases in general)–who knew that $36 would become “normal” to me one day–and I absolutely love shades like Fraise Creme, Framboise Creme, and Papaye Creme.
  • Cle de Peau Beaute Lipglosses ($48.00) wear longer than the average gloss, have a great shimmer and shine, and are moisturizing. May I recommend #2? It’s a total staple for me.

What are your favorite permanent lip products?

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Cle de Peau #207 Eye Color Quad
Cle de Peau #207 Eye Color Quad

Cle de Peau #207 Eye Color Quad

Cle de Peau #207 Eye Color Quad ($55.00 for refill of 0.17 oz., $25.00 for case) is a decadent option for eyeshadow. The formula is “resistant to smudging, creasing, and fading” while “Argan Tree Oil provides smooth application and wear” as well as it contains “moisturizing Hydro-Wrap Complex.”

The product itself is embossed with muted, plum-pink iterations of their logo, and these are just an overlay, as they disappear after a use or two. I made sure to remove them from mine before swatching the colors themselves to ensure nothing altered the actual underlying colors!

My first reaction was: “WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS SILKINESS?” I felt like I had touched silk dipped in butter, because it was so soft, so smooth, and creamy (but it is a powder). I’ve tried Cle de Peau’s eyeshadow singles, and some are nice, others are so-so–but the product, while soft, felt nothing like this palette. I just stared at the compact dumbfounded when I first swatched it. I’m not easily impressed, but this really caught my attention. It was the softest eyeshadow I had ever used. The formula is soft like silk, but smooth and creamy like butter that glides across the skin and melts into it. When I wore these alone (without primer), they lasted a full ten hours without creasing, fading, or fall out.

  • The first shade is a sparkling pink champagne with silvery-white micro-glitter. It’s similar to Giorgio Armani #7, which has a more metallic finish. This shade is soft but does apply opaque–though it can be sheered out with ease. I thought it would have fall out, but I didn’t experience any when I wore it. The texture is almost like Urban Decay’s Stardust Eyeshadows but smoother.
  • The second shade is a softened, peach-beige with a bright, metallic sheen. It’s more opaque than NARS Delphes, but it is shade or so lighter and warmer than Inglot #397. This has great color payoff and an ultra-smooth texture.
  • The third shade is a gray-casted purple with a hint of blue. The finish is part shimmer, part sheen. I couldn’t think of any dupes for this one, though I looked through the blue, gray, and purple eyeshadow galleries. It has good color payoff (could be a little more rich in color), but it applied beautifully.
  • The last shade is a warm, soft gray with a shimmery finish. The only shade I could think of that was even remotely similar was theBalm Come Hither Heather, which is many shades darker. It has the same really smooth texture with a soft feel, and the pigmentation is good.

For those who might find Cle de Peau a bit out of their price range, consider purchasing the refill and storing it inside a more affordable compact (maybe a Z-palette or the like), as the pan of eyeshadows is $55, while the case is sold separately at $25. The refill makes it much more in line with Chanel, Dior, and Guerlain and may make the product more . The case is sturdy but ultimately made out of plastic. It has a large mirror inside as well as two brushes.  This is what I’ll be doing–I’m not willing to shell out $25 per compact, but I liked the quality and texture of this palette so much, I purchased two refill quads after I finished testing this one, which I’ll be sure to review once I’ve received and tested those.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Cle de Peau #207 Eye Color Quad Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I can't fathom why the compact is so costly, but the product itself stands out in texture. The colors are softer, so they are not always opaque, but those who prefer subtler looks would likely enjoy Cle de Peau's take on them. I do appreciate and like that you can purchase the product separate from the case--at least you aren't paying for packaging!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

5 Great Coral Lipsticks

Reader Angela thought to be cruel to me by suggesting coral lipsticks–because picking a favorite coral is like picking your favorite child! I will say that the closest to all-time favorite coral would be Guerlain Gems, which was limited edition and no longer available, but the below five are all near and dear to my heart!  Want more corals?  Check out our swatch gallery of coral lipsticks.

What’s your favorite coral lipstick?

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011


Cle de Peau Beaute La Beaute Metalique – Modern Metallic

Introducing the NEW La Beauté Metalique – Clé de Peau Beauté’s Spring/Summer 2011 color collection that reflects the precious metallics found in sunlit summer days and evenings. The exquisite combinations of translucent color capture the beauty of the ever-changing lights and promote radiance and luminosity that becomes a part of the skin.

Clé de Peau Beauté creates a modern allure with the most gorgeous hues of summer; bronzes, burnt coppers, soft pinks, subtle lilacs and pale blues that bring this glorious season to life, with a multi-dimensional brilliance that is fresh and new. Clé de Peau Beauté Color Creator, Lucia Pieroni’s inspiration for La Beauté Metalique was a desire to embody the glistening color of sunshine reflected in a cool, serene summer stream. “With La Beauté Metalique I have created a sophisticated and enchanting collection of color combinations that reflects dancing layers of translucent light. This is a chic yet contemporary aesthetic that captures the beauty of summer.” says Ms. Pieroni.

The collection includes Eye Color Quads along with the new shades of Extra Rich Lipstick and Extra Silky Lipstick. The perfect complement to this radiant assortment, Clé de Peau Beauté offers a Cream Foundation SPF26. The wondrous manipulation of light in this new make-up collection combines with the power of illuminating texture to enhance the feeling of sophistication and femininity.

Cream Foundation SPF 26 ($120.00)

Using the latest optical management technology, this foundation delivers illumination from within, as each skin cell comes alive with light and radiance. The illuminating finish and texture is derived from the new Revitalizing Moisture Complex, formulated with a luxurious infusion of treatment ingredients to optimize the condition of skin with continual use. It also features Reflect Change Powder, a unique powder coated with golden pearl which helps skin seem lit from within. Cream Foundation SPF 26 offers superior medium to full coverage with a soft-matte finish and is packaged in a convenient tube.

Eye Color Quad ($80.00)

Lucia Pieroni’s masterpiece within the La Beauté Metalique collection, the new Clé de Peau Beauté Eye Color Quads bring an unsurpassed level of elegance and glamour to the eyes, befitting the inspiration of serene summer days and golden sun rays. The velvety shades and lustrous finishes offer limitless possibilities for varying eye looks.

Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00)

Introducing four new colors: Beauty Secret (R7), Arizona (R8), Vesper (T6), and Rose Des Quatre Saison (T7).

Extra Silky Lipstick ($52.00)

Introducing three new colors: Rubellite (#129), Pink Opal (#130), and Spessartine (#131).

availability: Now @ select Neiman Marcus, Saks, and Barneys locations nationwide; Bergdorf Goodman in NYC

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Friday, March 11th, 2011

Cle de Peau #112 Eyeshadow
Cle de Peau #112 Eyeshadow

Cle de Peau #112 Eyeshadow

Cle de Peau #112 Eyeshadow ($45.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a pale, icy blue with a soft, frosted finish.  It applies really beautifully on the lid, because the pigmentation is decent and the texture very smooth.  The eyeshadow itself holds together incredibly well and doesn’t leave any fall out or powdery mess behind at all.

my thoughts on the formula: These feel like a buttery cream when applied, because they’re so soft, silky, and finely milled that they very nearly feel like a cream eyeshadow, even though they are most definitely a pressed powder. True to their claim, these eyeshadows do wear all day without a base, though I do prefer the security of a base myself (especially since I often pair it with other brands’ who don’t wear well without a base).

The Glossover

coming-soon

Cle de Peau #112 Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
These eyeshadows are undeniably expensive, and Cle de Peau is not a brand for everyone. Keep in mind that it is a luxury brand, and part of luxury is that not everyone can afford it, so the price completely reflects that. They are excellent eyeshadows, but they’re certainly more of a splurge item for many of us, including myself. Also worth pointing out is that I always compare value across similar brands--I am comparing Cle de Peau to other luxury brands.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Cle de Peau Calliope (T4) Extra Rich Lipstick
Cle de Peau Calliope (T4) Extra Rich Lipstick

Cle de Peau Extra Rich Lipstick: Calliope

Cle de Peau Calliope (T4) Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a peach nude with a creamy finish and soft champagne micro-shimmer. The finish has a slightly glossy look but not too much shine. Extra Rich Lipsticks have a faceted lipstick, with more defined edges, which does allow for crisper lines.  This is a suitable nude for warmer skin tones, especially for those who find that nudes too often wash them out.

my thoughts on the formula: The color applies opaque in a single pass with a smooth, even finish. Extra Rich Lipsticks are absolutely a luxury item; they are pure decadence. The texture is incredibly smooth and creamy without being slippery or heavy. It imparts a nice level of moisture on lips and never feels drying. The formula also de-emphasizes lip lines after about fifteen minutes of wear. I get between four and six hours of wear.

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  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

final thoughts: Cle de Peau is absolutely a luxury brand, and it is most certainly not masquerading as anything else. This is a brand and product that will not appeal to everyone and isn’t meant to, which I think is important to remember. If budget isn’t a concern, I have always really enjoyed Cle de Peau’s formulas and shade range. It is better to invest in a color you will wear everyday with joy than two shades that you are only so-so.

where to buy: Saks

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