Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Dior Gris Gris Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Gris Gris Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Spring 2011: Gris Gris

Dior Gris-Gris (034) 5-Colour Eyeshadow Palette ($58.00 for 0.21 oz.) is new and is part of Dior’s spring collection. (I’m not sure about the permanence of this product–still waiting for confirmation.) It is aptly named, as it consists of five shades that are variations on white/black/gray.

There is a blue-tinged white with a frosted finish; medium-dark bluish-gray with a satin finish; pewter gray with a metallic-frost sheen; bright snow white with a high metallic-frost finish; and a dark, matte black with silver micro-sparkle. For the traditional, more monochromatic smoky eye, this is a perfect palette to create those kinds of looks. I like the gradual intensity of gray from white to black, which allows for a lot of different variations in how light or dark you want to go.

This quint has very smooth, buttery eyeshadows that are nicely pigmented, not powdery, and effortlessly blendable. I did not feel like there were any problem children in this palette, which is really nice to see, because often there is at least one imperfect shade in any palette.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s a high quality palette with rather classic shades of white, gray, and black; whether it’s a must-have depends on your stash. None of these shades are out-of-this-world unique, but they work well together and come in a convenient palette, too.

WHERE TO BUY: January 2011

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Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Dior Technicolor Red Lipstick
Dior Technicolor Red Dior Addict Lipcolor

Dior Holiday 2010: Technicolor Red

Dior Technicolor Red (873) Lipcolor ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a raspberry pink-red with soft fuchsia and ruby micro-shimmer. It’s nearly opaque on lips, and it’s a beautiful take on a more classic holiday red. If you tend to gravitate towards fuchsias over reds, Technicolor Red offers a happy medium of the two. The texture is delightfully creamy, applying evenly with little pressure and pigmented enough not to need a lot of layering. I was able to wear this shade for a solid five hours, and the Dior Addict Lipcolor formula is creamy and moisturizing. It is heavily rose-scented, so those with sensitivities to scent may want to try it before they buy it.

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

RECOMMENDATION: The pink in this makes it an excellent shade for cooler skin tones. The subtle coolness of the pink-red combo still makes it a shade that can work on warmer skin tones, too.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Tuesday, December 7th, 2010


Dior Spring 2011 Makeup Collection – Montaigne

Inspired by the elegance and refinement of Christian Dior’s original Paris boutique at 30 Avenue Montaigne, Dior’s new spring color collection features the iconic greys of the House of Dior paired with fresh, feminine shades of pink. In a very Parisian spirit, the new spring look incorporates the all tones of Avenue Montaigne on a perfect spring evening: smoky and pearly grey eyes subtly enhanced with powdery touches of baby and boudoir pink and a natural glowing complexion. The overall effect is very soft, very sophisticated and very Dior.

5-Colour Eyeshadow ($58.00)

  • Gris Gris (034)

5-Colour Designer Eyeshadow ($58.00)

  • Soft Pink Design (018) (Not at Sephora)

Crayon Eyeliner ($28.00)

  • Smoky Grey (077)

Rouge Dior Lipcolour ($30.00)

  • Spring Pink (540) (Not at Sephora)
  • Chic Pink (658) (Not at Sephora)

Serum de Rouge ($32.00)

  • Pink Coral Serum (240) (Not at Sephora)
  • Pinky Mauve Serum (460) (Not at Sephora)

Addict Ultra Gloss ($26.50)

  • Pink Veil (654)
  • Trianon Silver (707) (Sephora Exclusive)

Vernis ($21.00)

  • Gris Montaigne (707)
  • Pink Boa (349) (Not at Sephora)

Availability: Spring 2011

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Dior Five Golds Eyeshadow Quint
Dior Five Golds Eyeshadow Quint

Metallics Done Right!

Dior Five Golds Eyeshadow Quint ($58.00 for 0.21 oz.) is one of two new and limited edition holiday quints.  As indicated, it includes five shades of eyeshadow, and this is a palette with a rather metallic feel and look.  I purchased this as part of my Sephora Friends & Family haul!

It has a similar theme as MAC’s Rockers & Reelers Eyeshadow Palette, because both have a lot of metallic-like finishes, but the colors themselves are a bit different. Dior’s metallic quint is closer to neutral, while MAC’s is on the warmer side.

Five Golds includes a dark charcoal gray with a soft silver sparkle; subdued copper-gold with a metallic finish; semi-sheer icy white-gold with a bright shimmer-shine; chocolate bronze with a metallic finish; and a bright, light silver with a high metallic shine. Every shade had rich pigmentation except the lightest white-gold shade, which was on the sheer side, and it also had more of a glittery feel compared to the smoother texture of the other four shades. It looks a lot yellower in the pan than when used, though. The other four shades were true-to-pan in terms of color.

This is probably one of my favorite Dior quints in terms of quality; the shades are smooth, soft without being powdery, and really rich in color. Dior’s eyeshadow quints are always a better value than their singles or duos, though it is still more expensive than Chanel’s eyeshadow quads (but less than Guerlain’s!). Even though the shades are dupeable by other brands, the finish and texture really hit home.

FYI, Sephora lists this as “001″ while the back of it does list the name as Five Golds alongside the 001 number.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you love your metallics, this may be something to add to your holiday wish list.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Dior Timeless Gold Nail Lacquer
Dior Timeless Gold Nail Lacquer

Dior Holiday: Timeless Gold

Dior Timeless Gold Nail Lacquer ($21.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a light, tarnished gold with a glittery-shimmery finish.  It reminded me of China Glaze’s Midnight Kiss, but it’s nowhere near as gold.  It does, however, have a similar finish–it’s almost a foil but not quite, and brush strokes are nearly invisible despite the slight metallic sheen.  The drying time is faster than average, but it does dry to more of a semi-matte finish so you may want to use a shiny top coat for more oomph (swatches are shown without a top coat).

It took two coats to get opaque coverage, and it was actually incredibly easy to apply and to achieve no pesky brush strokes because of Dior’s brush.  This is the first Dior polish I’ve owned that has a wide, tapered brush.  I haven’t seen a brush like this before, and I thought it would be too wide to be practical, but it worked really well for me.  I do think if you have smaller nail beds, though, it may be more difficult (I know I have longer fingers than proportional to my body–thanks piano!).

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I love the color, but it’s definitely a personal preference.  The formula is very easy to work with and surprisingly opaque–I thought it would end up being rather sheer, but two coats worked beautifully.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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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.