Saturday, October 9th, 2010


Lipstick Comparisons: $13 to $25 (Part 1)

In this price range, lipsticks tend to be more pigmented, have less synthetic scents, and wear an average of four hours. I’m not typically disappointed beyond belief with a lipstick formula in this price range. Brands from MAC to NARS to Smashbox fall into this price tier, while designer brands like Chanel, Dior, and YSL are in the next tier. There are really SO many brands and formulas to choose from in this category that I had to split this post into two parts!

Benefit Full Finish Lipstick ($18.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, opaque, glossy, wears for 3 to 4 hours, moisturizing
  • NEUTRAL: 0.10 oz., slight sweet scent
  • CONS: Very limited shade range
  • MY REC: These aren’t quite as glossy or as creamy as the Silky Finish line, but they’re more opaque. I still find them rather creamy and moisturizing, though. Some of mine seem to have a very subtle sweetened scent while others have none.

Benefit Silky Finish Lipstick ($18.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, moisturizing, glossy, wears for 3 to 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.10 oz., shades range from sheer to semi-opaque, slight sweet scent
  • CONS: Short shade range centered around pinks
  • MY REC: The Silky Finish is a much glossier, often shimmered lipstick compared to Benefit’s Full Finish range. These actually remind me quite a bit of Laura Mercier’s Stick Gloss. They’re more moisturizing than the average lipstick and have a slicker texture, too. Some of mine seem to have a very subtle sweetened scent while others have none.

Bobbi Brown Lip Color Lipstick ($22.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, slightly glossy, wears 4-6 hours, opaque
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., scent-free, more neutral/pink based shade range
  • CONS: One finish (semi-matte)
  • MY REC: I like the pigmentation and creaminess in the texture of Bobbi Brown’s Lip Color. Sometimes I get caught in thinking that Bobbi Brown is all about sheers, but then the Lip Color line always reminds me that it’s not always the case. Despite their creaminess, they’re not moisturizing; not drying either, but not particularly moisturizing.

Clinique Long Last Soft Shine Lipstick ($14.00)

  • PROS: Wearable shade range, creamy, moisturizing, semi-opaque
  • NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., more neutral/pink based shade range, scent-free
  • CONS: Wears 2 to 3 hours (despite being touted as long-wearing)
  • MY REC: I think Clinique makeup often gets overlooked, but I like how much of their makeup is scent-free. I also think they’re worth more than just a glance given the price tag.

Illamasqua Lipstick ($22.00)

  • PROS: Opaque, true-to-tube color, wears 5 to 7 hours, lots of fun shades
  • NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., scent-free
  • CONS: Mostly matte finishes, dry
  • MY REC: It’s important to note that while the texture itself seems a little dry, these lipsticks don’t suck the moisture out of your lips, but they definitely don’t impart any either. With an abundance of matte shades with drier finishes, these are not ideal for those with dry to ultra dry lips.

Korres Guava Lipstick ($22.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, opaque, moisturizing, wears 3 to 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL:  Guava-scented
  • CONS: 0.06 oz., limited shade range
  • MY REC: My biggest issue with these is how little you get; they’re half the size of Korres’ Mango Butter Lipsticks and $4 more. The Guava lipsticks are more opaque and not as glossy in the finish, but they’re a little less moisturizing than the Mango Butters.

Korres Mango Butter Lipstick ($18.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, moisturizing, semi-sheer, wears 3 to 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., mango-scented
  • CONS: Name/numbering system doesn’t always match tube color, limited shade range
  • MY REC: I find these very moisturizing, and I love the glossiness of the finish, because it almost looks like you’re just wearing a gloss. If you have dry lips and haven’t tried these, you might want to give ‘em a shot.

Laura Mercier Creme Lip Colour ($22.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, semi-opaque, wears 3 to 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., scent-free
  • CONS: Limited shade range
  • MY REC: I’ve found these to be very creamy, and they’re often more on the opaque side of color. They impart some moisture but I wouldn’t consider it a moisturizing lipstick.

Laura Mercier Stick Gloss ($20.00)

  • PROS: Moisturizing, glossy, semi-sheer, wears 3 to 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., Berry-scented
  • CONS: Very limited shade range
  • MY REC: It’s very comfortable to wear and feels incredibly moisturizing–it’s just a shame that there are so few shades available.

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.


Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Clinique Strawberry Fudge Collection

Clinique Strawberry Fudge Collection for Holiday 2010

Inspired by one of Clinique’s most popular Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duos, Clinique’s NEW Limited-Edition Strawberry Fudge Colour Collection is sure to top every holiday wish list. This decadent collection combines rich chocolate browns with luscious blushing pinks for a sweet festive look.

The shining star of the collection is the NEW Limited Edition Strawberry Fudge Holiday Compact- a treat for eyes and cheeks. Beneath the beautifully designed mirrored cover of this sleek silver compact lies a trio of eye shadows and a romantic soft pink blush. These perfectly matched shades light up the eyes, while a swipe of blush conjures the glow that follows a stolen kiss under the mistletoe. High Lengths Mascara creates long, pretty lashes to accentuate the shimmering eye shadow shades. And for the finishing touch – NEW Vitamin C Lip Smoothie Antioxidant Lip Colour in Strawberry Bliss provides beautiful gloss and shine for a pretty pink pout.

Strawberry Fudge Holiday Compact (Limited Edition)

This limited edition compact features a Colour Surge Eye Shadow Trio of shimmering shades in soft pink, chocolate brown, and a dark slate to dial up the drama. Comfortable and lightweight, these eye shadow favourites deliver luxurious, intense long lasting colour. Cheeks get the perfect hint of pink from Soft Pressed Powder Blusher in New Clover.

Vitamin C Lip Smoothe Anitoxidant Lip Colour

  • Strawberry Bliss

Defining Liner

  • Plush Pink

High Lengths Mascara

  • Black

Availability: October/November 2010

See more photos! Continue reading →

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Clinique Fall 2010

Clinique Bigger, Brighter Eyes in an Instant Collection for Fall 2010

Quickliner for Eyes Intense (Limited Edition)

  • Intense Black
  • Intense Plum
  • Intense Chocolate
  • Intense Coffee

Vitamin C Lip Smoothie Antioxidant Lip Colour

  • Guava Good
  • Pear-Fection
  • Running Latte
  • Strawberry Bliss
  • Pome-Greatness
  • Blackberry Nirvana

High Impact Mascara (Limited Edition)

  • Brightening Black

Colour Surge Eyeshadow Duos

  • Beach Plum
  • Like Mink
  • Blackberry Frost

Quick Eyes Cream Shadow

  • Sparkling Nude
  • Truffle
  • Rock Violet
  • Starlit Pink

Instant Lift for Brows

  • Soft Blonde
  • Soft Brown
  • Deep Brown

Airbrush Concealer

  • Fair
  • Medium
  • Medium Fair

Availability: August 2010

See more photos! Continue reading →

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Clinique Brandied Bronze Collection

Clinique Brandied Bronze Collection for Summer 2010

Brandied Bronze, Clinique’s newest Summer 2010 colour collection evokes the sexiness of hot summer days and nights. Cheeks of all skin tones are given a healthy glow without exposure to harmful rays while eyes sparkle in shades that are slightly pearlised and inspired by summertime. And, lips are kept moisturised to combat the summer’s harsh heat and dryness. The look is effortless, fun and playful.

Collection Includes…

  • Brandied Bronze Colour Surge Eye Shadow Palette (Limited Edition)
  • Bronze Leaf Different Lipstick (Limited Edition)
  • Sunkissed True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer
  • Chocolate Lustre Cream Shaper
  • Sugared Fig Defining Liner
  • Air Kiss, Bonfire, Fireberry, & Sunset Long Last Glosswear SPF 15
  • Lash Power Mascara

Availability: May 2010

See more photos! Continue reading →

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Clinique Parisian Red Lipstick
Clinique Parisian Red Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Clinique Parisian Red Lipstick

Clinique Parisian Red Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a glossy, just-bitten red with pinky tones. Parisian Red is part of Clinique’s Butter Shine Lipstick line-up, which is described as “wearable color” with sheer to moderate coverage. Parisian Red was a limited edition shade from Clinique’s holiday collection last year, but you can still find Parisian Red at Nordstrom! :) The formula itself is creamy, smooth, and incredibly moisturizing. It does feel like a very glossy lipstick, actually. The color itself is opaque enough to give lips plenty of pop, but they’re not completely opaque. I really love this particular shade of red for the formula itself, because it’s so easy and comfortable to wear.

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See more swatches and comparison photosContinue reading →

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009


Clinique Deep Comfort Hand & Cuticle Cream

Clinique Deep Comfort Hand & Cuticle Cream ($17.50 for 2.5 fl. oz.) is a rich (and thick!) cream designed to keep hands hydrated for up to twelve-hours and is touted as a “restorative cream” that’s fit for hands and cuticles.

Clinique has created a rich and creamy hand cream that sinks in quickly and doesn’t leave behind any greasy residue. These are pretty much must-have characteristics in any daytime hand cream I keep on my desk (which is where I must keep them, or else I’d never remember to use them ever!). It’s a hand cream that does exactly what it should and without any fuss. It’s scent-free, takes about an oversized pea-sized dollop to get an even application on both hands, and it lasts for hours.

I couldn’t tell you if it lasts twelve hours, but I’d say my hands are significantly less dry throughout the day, and I usually apply it once in the morning and once in the afternoon (if I’m good!). In terms of overall positioning in my hand cream favorites, Clinique comes in as a new favorite, but it’s still edged out of first by Ellen Sirot’s Hand Perfection. However, Hand Perfection is pricier and less accessible, whereas Clinique is more affordable and readily available.

Bottom Line: While Clinique’s new hand cream for the wintertime does seem a bit on the pricier side, but so far the tube has lasted me a month now, and I imagine it’ll take me to February, so three to four months of usage is good enough to justify the price to me. When I come across a hand cream that’s rich in moisture but zero on the grease-factor, I’m all over it, and Clinique wins on both counts!

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 long-lasting moisturized hands, Clinique’s new Deep Comfort Hand & Cuticle Cream works well without any frills.

Availability: Clinique, Nordstrom