Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Platinum Nail Lacquer
Dolce & Gabbana Platinum Nail Lacquer

Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2011: Platinum

Dolce & Gabbana Platinum Nail Lacquer ($20.00 for 0.37 fl. oz.) is a pale, metallic pewter-gold that’s almost neutral with silver shimmer strewn through the metallic base.  I only needed two coats to get opaque color coverage, but as is common in metallic finished polishes, Platinum does show some.  It was easier to even out the brush strokes, though, so it has more of a brushed metal finish.  It is warmer than MAC Very Important Platinum, but it has just as many brush strokes.  Dolce & Gabbana’s formula isn’t as thick nor as troublesome, though, which is a definite plus.  Similarly, Dior Timeless Gold is even warmer and has a less metallic finish (it is more like a part glitter, part metallic finish).

my thoughts on the formula: I found the applicator a bit bothersome, as the brush itself is larger and thicker than average; it allows quite a bit of the lacquer to absorb into the brush, so it’s easy to overdo it if you’re not especially careful. If you have very narrow nail beds, you may also find the brush too wide to use with ease. The lacquer wore just fine with Zoya’s Color Lock System with tip wear but no chips after a week.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: As long as you don’t mind brush strokes, I think it’s a gorgeous shade.  If you have really small nail beds, you may find the brush more difficult to work with.  The formula went on smoothly, evenly, and only required two coats for opaque color coverage.

where to buy: Saks, February 2011

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Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Bon Bon Lipgloss
Dolce & Gabbana Bon Bon Lip Gloss

Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2011: Bon Bon

Dolce & Gabbana Bon Bon Lip Gloss ($29.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a pale, milky cotton candy pink with ultra-fine shimmer. It’s semi-opaque, and with its creamier finish, it does settle into lip lines, which I did find was noticeable even from afar. I would recommend wearing a light pink or nude lipstick underneath to minimize the lip gloss settling into the lines.

my thoughts on the formula: Dolce & Gabbana Lip Glosses are moisturizing, and they fade really well when they wear away. I only get about two to three hours of wear (this one just under four), which is a little below average for me. These glosses are heavily rose-scented but don’t seem to have any taste. With just 0.13 oz. in a tube (compared to 0.20 oz. for other high-end brands like Chanel, Guerlain, and YSL), these are pricey.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This pink should suit light to medium skin tones, both cool and warm, because it doesn’t have strong cool undertones.  It may wash out deeper skin tones, though.  I also want to reiterate that Dolce & Gabbana glosses have a very strong rose scent.

where to buy: Saks, February 2011

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Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Eden Eyeshadow Quad
Dolce & Gabbana Eden Eyeshadow Quad

Maybe Some Secrets are Best Left Alone

From Dolce & Gabbana’s Secret Garden Collection emerges a new eyeshadow quad, Eden ($59.00 for 0.16 oz.), and it seems to be somewhat of a mystery, because it swatches well enough, but I really couldn’t make it work on the eyes. The palette includes: an icy white with pink and blue shimmer-sheen; petal pink with yellow undertones; seafoam aqua with a matte finish; and a dove gray with a satin-matte finish.

The most difficult shade to work with in the palette was the aqua, which was worse wet than dry–when used wet, the product would ball up and apply patchy. The easiest shade to work with was the gray, but it didn’t work well wet either. The white shade is a little powdery and sheer, and your lid better be primed to perfection with nary a dry spot, because it emphasizes every imperfection . The pink shade was sheer when used dry but came together better wet.

I actually like the pastel hues of spring, and I think the mix of these four shades is striking but workable, so I was hopeful they would come together well in a look. They didn’t–these shades applied so sheerly when used dry but were even worse when used wet, because it made the whole look patchy. The colors applied so unevenly, and I really had to pack on the color to get anything resembling the shades in the pan. I was so desperate for color that I had to resort to using the included sponge-tip applicators and only then did I get anything significant.

Pale colors are lighter, and sheer can be OK, but when getting an even, sheer wash is troublesome, I’m concerned. When products can’t be layered for an opaque look, I’m more concerned. When the product swatches decently and even opaque in places, but then we end up with ultra sheer colors on the lid–I’m disappointed.

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  • Product: 15/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think this palette would work best on paler skin tones, because of the powderiness and slight chalkiness of the pastel shades. I think on darker skin tones it may come across ashy and chalky, rather than soft and spring-y. The quality seemed rather mediocre across the board, but it was the lack of quality was discovered upon application and use rather than purely on swatches.

WHERE TO BUY: Late January/early February @ Saks

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Monday, January 17th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Desert Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Classic Cream Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a burnt caramel sugar bronze with golden bronze sheen and shimmer. It’s semi-opaque, and it doesn’t apply as evenly as I’d like.  I’m also surprised that this is a Classic Cream finish, because it has the shinier finish found in their Shine Lipsticks.

I get an average of four hours of wear with Dolce & Gabbana’s Classic Cream Lipsticks, and I find them comfortable to wear, but I would not describe them as moisturizing (but not drying either). All Dolce & Gabbana’s lipsticks are heavily rose-scented, and I do consider them some of the heaviest scented products I’ve come across. If you aren’t keen on roses, you may find these too strong.

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I wish it applied more evenly, because then it could be a really nice shade.  This is a shade actually works well on both cooler and warmer skin tones; cooler skin tones will appreciate the more neutral tone of it (the traditional warmth accompany bronze and copper is lessened in this shade), while warmer skin tones will find their warmer under tones pull out the copper in the lipstick itself.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner
Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner: White & Lilac

Dolce & Gabbana Secret Garden: Lilac Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana Lilac Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.054 oz.) will see the introduction of two new shades, White and Lilac from Dolce & Gabbana’s Secret Garden Collection, which should hit Saks counters and online soon.

  • Lilac is a vibrant blue-violet with a fuchsia-violet undertone. Unfortunately, it is a pain to work with–there is no creaminess, so the color drags and skips when applied. I really wanted to wear it, but I could barely get it to show up, even after working the tip down a bit.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Eyeliners are hit or miss for me; they’re often too hard, so they lack enough creaminess to enable the eyeliner to apply smoothly and evenly. They don’t glide-on, and instead, they can tug on the lash line or skip when applied, which results in an uneven, splotchy look.   Lilac just did not work for me at all; what I managed to apply wore okay for about four or five hours, but it was so faint and sheer.

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  • Product: 16/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s such a shame that it doesn’t apply evenly nor have enough creaminess to glide on and deposit pigment intensely.   It’s a beautiful color but not worth picking up based on a rougher texture, below average wear, and sheer color.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner
Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner: White & Lilac

Dolce & Gabbana Secret Garden: White Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana White Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.054 oz.) will see the introduction of two new shades, White and Lilac from Dolce & Gabbana’s Secret Garden Collection, which should hit Saks counters and online soon.

  • White is exactly as it sounds–it’s a bright, creamy white and is one of the creamiest liners I’ve tested from Dolce & Gabbana’s range.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Eyeliners are hit or miss for me; they’re often too hard, so they lack enough creaminess to enable the eyeliner to apply smoothly and evenly. They don’t glide-on, and instead, they can tug on the lash line or skip when applied, which results in an uneven, splotchy look.

Note, however, that White didn’t have the poor texture that plagues many other Dolce & Gabbana eyeliners–it was very creamy and pigmented; it was easy to work with. This is why I don’t like to combine reviews, because unless a product line is very consistent, there can be enough variance that each product will earn a different grade–and this is exactly why I split this post into two separate ones, even though their content is very similar.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: White looks rather stark on my medium skin tone, so I’m not sure what skin tone this would be ideal for–it is a very bright white, and could offer a lot of contrast for the right look. While it is creamy, I wouldn’t necessarily use it as an eyeshadow base. It wore for only six hours though, before fading away.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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