Monday, November 21st, 2011


Holiday Gift Guide: The Best of Holiday Color

As promised, here is the next installment of our most comprehensive gift guide to-date! This post features my top picks from various holiday color collections that have launched this year.  There are a few more holiday shades I haven’t reviewed or swatched, so there might be a few more of my favorites to come.

Eyes

Cheeks/Face

  • NARS Miss Liberty ($27) gives cheeks a really glistening glow, very apropos for the holidays.
  • Guerlain Parure de Nuit ($67) is the one product I’d recommend above all others for the holidays, and I say that because it’s a product I keep reaching for (to the point that I had to forcibly remove it from my reach).

Lips

  • MAC What Joy! ($15.50) is a berry-red with subtle micro-shimmer and healthy shine with good color coverage.
  • Illamasqua Belladonna ($20) is a fierce magenta pink with opaque color and lots of shine.
  • Bobbi Brown Party Alice ($24) — super pretty pink-coral, perhaps not seasonally appropriate but divine anyway.
  • NARS Joyous Red ($24) is a muted orange-red that’s workable on cool and warm-toned skin.
  • Chanel Triomphal ($32) is a pinky-red with great vibrancy and glossy shine; and Chanel Empire is perfect for those who love a brighter pink with yellow undertones.
  • Dior’s holiday lip colors ($32 each) were my surprise hit for lips this season–they’re so pretty on and wear well.

Nails

  • China Glaze Let It Snow ($3-4 each) is a perfectly festive set of twelve polishes, and all of them are available individually, so you can pick your particular poison.
  • Zoya Gems & Jewels ($8 each) is short and sweet with beautiful shimmers and extra-fun glitters (because they’re horizontal!).
  • Dior Merveille is a festive orange-red with golden shimmer that will work well on warmer skin tones.
Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Dior Versailles Rouge Dior Lip Color
Dior Versailles Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Versailles Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Versailles (527) Rouge Dior Lip Color ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) has a pinky-coral base color with peachy-gold shimmer finished with a glossy shine. The color coverage is semi-opaque–there’s some translucency but looks better from afar (the translucency is harder to detect). It does have a bit of a frostier finish, but there is also a fair amount of shine to it. MAC Mellowarm is more orangeand lacks the golden sheen, Dior Coral is a bit more orange with less of a sheen, Korres #18 is much pinker but has a golden sheen, Guerlain Gems is a touch more coral (less pink) and has the same golden sheen, and (finally!) MAC Fresh Salmon is much pinker.

I liked that the color glided across my lips easily and pretty evenly (especially given how much shimmer it has!). Versailles wore for four hours well enough not to need an reapplication, but it did need one by the sixth hour. I wouldn’t call it a long-wearing shade, which is what the Rouge Dior line-up is supposed to be. It’s good, solid wear, though, and what is really important is that it’s comfortable and hydrating to wear–no chapped lips after it fades away.

On a personal note, this is one of my favorite coral lipsticks (it’s very similar to my all-time favorite,  Guerlain Gems), so as one coral fiend to another, I definitely recommend it on the basis of color alone.

The Glossover

LE
product

Versailles

B+
As far as the color goes, it's a great coral--not too bright or orange or pink--and I don't find many that are just right like this, but the length of wear doesn't live up to the brand's marketing, which is really the biggest flaw of this particular product.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Dior Merveille Vernis Nail Lacquer
Dior Merveille Vernis Nail Lacquer

Dior Merveille Vernis Nail Lacquer

Dior Merveille (651) Vernis Nail Lacquer ($22.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) looks like a fiery orange-red in the bottle, but it turns out a little less fiery and more coral-orange on the nails. Nubar Pink Flame is closer to the shade I expected from the way Merveille looked in the bottle (it appears redder on the nails than Merveille). There is faint golden-copper shimmer, but it doesn’t show up much in natural light–only in really bright lighting does it arrive (fashionably late) to the party.

I was also surprised that this wasn’t opaque after two coats–it seems like such a rich shade, but there is a hint of visible nail line after two coats. Even though the flow was even and fluid, it just didn’t provide as much color coverage as a polish should, especially this kind of a shade! This shade was a little thinner than others but didn’t seem watery when I was applying–but by the underlying translucency, it might be a touch watery. I do typically get a week of wear with only minor tip wear with Dior’s formula.

The Glossover

LE
product

Merveille

B+
I like this a lot against warmer skin tones, because it brings out the copper shimmer more. If you like the way it looks on the nail, it's definitely workable; if you want something more like the bottle, I'd skip.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Dior Belle de Nuit Rouge Dior Lip Color
Dior Belle de Nuit Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Belle de Nuit Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Belle de Nuit Rouge (841) Dior Lip Color ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a fiery orange-red with copper micro-shimmer. It’s more orange than it is red, almost like a coral-red, but more orange than coral!  The color coverage is mostly opaque, and the texture is creamy enough to allow the color to glide on evenly without skipping but not so creamy that it moves around.  This is totally my kind of color (but I’m starting to wonder what lip color family I don’t have some love for). Make Up For Ever #20 is a little redder but doesn’t have the copper shimmer. It’s actually similar, though deeper in color, to Chanel Mandarin. The new-for-the-holidays NARS Joyous Red is more muted, less red, and not as shimmered. CoverGirl Temptation is a touch more orange but still very similar.

Belle de Nuit is supremely long-wearing; it lasts for six full hours on my lips and proceeds to linger around for another two; at eight hours, it reaches that halfway point where it’s faded enough to be reapplied but if you’ve forgotten the tube at home, you still have a bit left on your lips. The best part about the long-wear is that my lips don’t feel chapped, dry, or otherwise dehydrated, which is impressive after eight hours.  Too bad this shade is limited edition!

The Glossover

LE
product

Belle de Nuit

A
Belle de Nuit wears excellently--six hours or longer--and makes it through drinks/meals mostly intact. It has good color coverage, shine, and is a great holiday shade for warmer skin tones.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, November 14th, 2011

Dior Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Holiday 2011: Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a limited edition palette for the holidays that contains five shades, which tend to skew on the warmer side and keep in the spirit of all things glittery, glam, and metallic.

The first shade, on the upper left, is a white gold with a frosted finish. It has good color payoff and a really soft, buttery texture. This particular shade has several viable dupes: Tarina Tarantino Dreamy, Urban Decay Zephyr, Bare Escentuals Breathtaking, and MAC Manila Paper. Opposite that, on the upper right, is a burnt gold–more orange than yellow kind of gold–with a frosted, metallic finish and sheen. The pigmentation is good, and the eyeshadow feels silky soft. It’s similar in color to Urban Decay Blunt, Milani Drenched in Gold, and Bare Escentuals Aspire.

In the middle of the palette is a pale, sparkling gold with a really glimmering finish. The texture is a bit gritty, because this shade has more of a glitter finish than anything else. I didn’t think it was going to hold up well on the eye, but surprisingly, the fall out was minimal (and surprisingly little for this type of finish). The color seems similar to MAC Femme-fi but the finishes are completely different. It’s also similar to Bobbi Brown Gold Bar and MAC Nylon. This shade is yellower than the shade on the upper left of this palette.

On the bottom left, there is a very dark brown with flecks of ruby and gold shimmer. The texture of this is the type that separates the base color from the sparkle on top; the brown shade is dry, powdery, and only so-so in delivering true-to-pan color payoff, while the overlying sparkle tends to get lost when the shade is actually applied to the eyes. These shades are similar though the color of the sparkle differs slightly: Bobbi Brown Black Gold, Tarina Tarantino Dreamy, MAC Legendary, and Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone.  The last shade, which can be found on the bottom right, is a lightened copper with a golden sheen. The texture is really soft and smooth, and the hue has good color payoff. It’s not as copper as Urban Decay Limelight.

Couture Gold is a warm-toned palette, but it doesn’t contain a lot of strong yellow or orange-based shades, so it should be wearable on cooler complexions. This palette was a sleeper hit for me; I didn’t think I’d love it, even though it is pretty, but the way it comes together works really, really well.

The Glossover

palette

Couture Gold

B+
One of my favorite holiday palettes that I've reviewed so far! It should work on both cool and warm skin tones, because the golds are not too yellow or orange.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, November 14th, 2011

Dior Or Etoile Rouge Dior Lip Color
Dior Or Etoile Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Holiday 2011: Or Etoile Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Or Etoile (217) Rouge Dior Lip Color ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is one of four new and limited edition holiday lip colors from Dior. This shade is a sheer, warm yellow gold with pale gold shimmer. It has a high-shine finish. On lips, it brightens and lightens, while adding warmth and shimmer, but as expected from its sheer swatch, it doesn’t provide much color. I couldn’t think of a lipstick that was quite like this, but it was reminiscent of MAC Luxure, which is a lipgloss, though it is not as warm. NARS Albatross, which is another lipgloss, is also very similar, but it has a glossier finish.

Though Dior lists it as long-wearing, I’d have to disagree; Or Etoile seems to disappear after three hours! The formula on this one is creamy enough to glide across lips and deposits a healthy amount of shimmer on the lips. On the upside, for such a frosted color, it didn’t feel drying over the three hours I wore it.

The Glossover

LE
product

Or Etoile

B
This kind of lipstick works best for layering, even if it's just with clear gloss, because it will bring it altogether. I wish it wore longer, though, especially for a formula touted as long-wearing.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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