Sunday, January 1st, 2012

10 Worst Beauty Products of 2011

These are some of the biggest flops I tested out during 2011!  Creasing, poor pigmentation, grittiness, dryness, you name it, you’ll find it on this list!

  1. MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
  2. Dolce & Gabbana Sweet Temptations Eyeliners
  3. MAC Street Art Eyeshadow Palette
  4. Dior Blue Tie Palette
  5. YSL Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick
  6. MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad
  7. NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
  8. MAC Miss Piggy Pink Eyeshadow
  9. Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder
  10. MAC Big Bounce Shadows

What was the worst product you tried out this year?

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Top 10 of 2011: Lipsticks & Lipglosses

Whew — this was difficult!  I ended up having to lump some of the new-for-2011 formulas into a single pick, even though there were lots of shades I loved!   These are products I reviewed and discovered in 2011, some being part of a brand’s permanent range and others being new/limited edition shades that we saw over the past months.  I guess you could say I gravitate towards reds…

  1. Hourglass Siren Extreme Sheen Lipgloss
  2. Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Colors
  3. Guerlain Rouge Automatiques
  4. Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipglosses
  5. NYX Chic Red Round Lipstick
  6. NARS Damage Lipstick
  7. Guerlain Garconne Rouge G Lipstick
  8. Dior Nocturne Rouge Dior Lip Color
  9. Illamasqua Atomic Lipstick
  10. Giorgio Armani #406 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

What was your favorite lip product this year?

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011


Dior Spring 2012: Garden Party Collection

“After women, flowers are the most heavenly creation.” — Christian Dior

Christian Dior grew up in Granville, on the cliffs of Normandy, in a house buffeted by strong winds, and seemingly unsuited to the creation of a garden. However, the young man’s creative strength and relentless hard work defied nature, and today one can still admire the garden in bloom and in particular, the fantastic rose garden planted with his own hands.

Christian Dior also loved the excitement of parties, and often hosted the aptly named “Grand Balls of the Century” with enchanted beauties from the Normandy coast and Paris alike. The theme of the festive garden is still alive today throughout many Dior creations. The Dior spring color collection is inspired by Dior’s fantastic garden.

Garden Clutch ($75.00) (Limited Edition)

The clutch is reinvented in with the Garden Party spirit in mind. Featuring a glossy light pink leather-like shell, adorned with a woven pattern & sealed by a “Rosebud” clasp and makeup must-haves for eyes and lips. Inside is a trio of delicate rose-embossed eye shadows, one shade of Dior Ultra-Gloss and one Lip Maximizer. Available in two color harmonies: Milly Garden #001 (Nordstrom and Dior.com Exclusive), Granville Garden #002 (everywhere except Nordstrom).

5-Couleurs Garden Edition ($59.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Garden Pastels Pale pink, buttercup yellow and luminous greens
  • Garden Roses Soft pinks, Parma violet, silver and purple.

Vernis Garden Party Scented Lacquers ($23.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Waterlily (#504) Soft green
  • Forget-Me-Not (#694) Light mauve

3-Couleurs Eyeshadow ($48.00)

  • Smoky Garden (#461) (Dior.com exclusive)

Rouge Dior Lipcolor ($32.00)

  • Corolle Pink (#363) (everywhere but Sephora)
  • Tulip Pink (#448) (all locations)

Ultra-Gloss ($28.00)

  • Socialite Pink (#152) (Dior.com exclusive)
  • Party Lilac (#396)
  • Pretty Rose (#452)

availability: January 2012 at Dior counters nationwide, dior.com

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Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Dior Coral Crystal (345) Serum de Rouge
Dior Coral Crystal (345) Serum de Rouge

Dior Coral Crystal (345) Serum de Rouge

Dior Coral Crystal (345) Serum de Rouge ($34.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a peachy tangerine that looks more like a soft peach when worn–it’s certainly not as vibrant as it looks in the tube or swatched against my lips (which have a natural corpse-like color, so it may have muted some of the vibrancy). The color coverage is semi-opaque but translucent. MAC Fashion City is darker and more opaque. NARS Love Devotion is similar but a bit more translucent.

Dior crams a lot of claims into this particular product, as it is supposed to be a lip treatment product in addition to being a lip color. I’m not prepared to give up lip swatching or reviewing other lipsticks for thirty days to test whether these will improve my lips’ condition over time (and to be frank, my lips are typically well-hydrated and exfoliated, so I don’t think they need much improvement!). It has a really soft, creamy consistency that makes it easy to apply (and overapply) but feels very lightweight. I only get two hours or so of wear, though. While it’s on, it’s hydrating and not drying, and I’ve wore this and reapplied two or three times over the course of the day to see if the formula is drying, but it wasn’t–my lips still felt good (and no desire for lip balm) after ten hours of regular wear of this formula.

Oddly enough, Sephora looks like they’ve pulled all but one shade from their stock, so I don’t know if these are possibly being discontinued. Dior’s website still has the full range available, as do other retailers, but it was curious to see these practically MIA at Sephora.

The Glossover

DC
product

Coral Crystal

B-
As creamy and as comfortable as this formula is to wear, I never have good luck with the wear time! A few of the darker shades wear a bit better, but lighter shades like Coral Crystal seem to disappear within two hours.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Thursday, December 1st, 2011


Anselm Reyle for Dior Collection for Spring 2012

Christian Dior once worked as a gallerist and kept art close to his heart throughout his career as a visionary couturier. In tribute to this history, Dior has collaborated with German artist Anselm Reyle to create the limited edition Anselm Reyle for Dior Eyeshadow Palette ($110.00). This striking palette features a camouflage pattern in shades of silver, grey, charcoal and violet. In addition, there will be five limited edition Reyle-inspired shades of Dior Vernis ($23.00 each) available: Ultra Violet, Pink Graffiti, Electric Blue, Metallic Silver and Untitled Black.

Anselm Reyle was born in Tübingen, Germany in 1970 and currently lives and works in Berlin. Reyle’s stripe paintings are instantly recognizable as responses to the formalist vocabulary of Clement Greenberg that defined the art of the 1950s and 1960s. Reyle references iconic abstractionists ranging from Kenneth Noland to Otto Freundlich. Reyle’s “objets trouvés,” a reference to his multi-media installations that include sculpture and found neon lights, are in constant dialogue about the role of modernism today. He is one of few contemporary German painters examining the lessons of abstraction and their place in contemporary painting at a moment when figurative painting has gained critical momentum.

The palette and Vernis shades are part of a larger Anselm Reyle accessories collection—featuring bags, shoes, and jewelry—which will launch worldwide as well in January. Reyle immersed himself in the heart of Dior and was given cart blanche in the design process. He played with colors, shaking up the codes of the mythical Avenue Montaigne Couture House, which offered all its savoir-faire to serve its imagination.

“Most of my work builds on object that already exist, which I then transform. I applied the same philosophy.” — Anselm Reyle

availability: January 2012 at Saks Fifth Avenue and Dior.com. It will also be available at Dior Boutique Art Basel.

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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?