Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Estee Lauder Mauve Mirage Pure Color Gloss Stick
Estee Lauder Mauve Mirage Pure Color Gloss Stick

Estee Lauder Gloss Sticks:  Mauve Mirage

Estee Lauder Mauve Mirage Pure Color Gloss Stick ($18.50 for 0.08 oz.) was a little surprise! It swatched a little sheer, almost streakily, but it was absolutely gorgeous applied. It’s a lovely shade of subdued cotton candy pink with a blue-base and subtle gold shimmer.

The Pure Color Gloss Stick formula is very creamy–it’s very much gloss-meets-lipstick in terms of the texture and feel on lips. I love that the color is semi-opaque without feeling heavy, and even though it has plenty of shine, it still lasts three to four hours and keeps lips soft. Like many other Estee Lauder lip products, it does have that sweet fig scent but no taste.

I think for those who were disappointed when MAC discontinued their Slimshines, you will find Estee Lauder’s Gloss Sticks to be a nice alternative. (And given that they’re all owned by the same company, may be closer in formula than you think!) The only criticism I have is regarding how little product they give you–0.08 oz. is rather undersized relative to Estee Lauder’s Lipsticks (0.13 oz.).

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you love creamy lip color that still delivers on color while providing high-shine, these Gloss Sticks might be what you’re looking for.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Estee Lauder Twilight Rose Eyeshadow
Estee Lauder Twilight Rose Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow: Twilight Rose

Estee Lauder Twilight Rose Pure Color Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a softened pale pink-peach with a frosted shimmer. Estee Lauder describes this shade as a “cool light pink,” and it has a satin finish, which is means it has a “soft, lustrous sheen.” Nothing about this seems cool-toned, and the pink is quite subtle. It reads rather peach in the pan and still leans that way when swatched.

I actually think this would work really well as a cheek highlighter–I initially thought it was a blusher when I first swatched it! Similarly, it would be a nice all-over color on the lid to brighten up the eyes. I think it may be on the frostier side for a brow highlight, but it could work; it would depend more on personal preferences. It has a nice, smooth texture, but this is definitely a softer and sheerer color, so I don’t know if I’d call it a rich shade.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For quick looks, this could make a really nice lid color — and double as a cheek highlighter!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Blue Dahlia: Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Eyeshadow Palette ($42.00 for 0.27 oz.) is a purple-hued palette from the Blue Dahlia Collection, which debuted for fall. It includes five shades: pink-lilac with soft sheen; dusty gray with mauve in a matte finish; shimmery white; darkened eggplant with a matte finish; and a sparkly cool-toned purple.

The palette’s interior design is similar to Guerlain’s Eyeshadow Palettes, but the outer packaging is entirely different, and Guerlain’s palette does include a sixth shade along the right hand side of the palette. None of the five Guerlain palettes released for fall resemble either of the two palettes released by Estee Lauder, though–there might be one shade overlap at best, but they are all pretty different from each other. As far as texture is concerned, Guerlain’s is a little smoother, but the pigmentation is similar across both brands with some shades slightly sheer and others more opaque.  Again, even though at first sight, the two brands seem similar, the color schemes for their palettes deviate quite a bit, so it may not curb your desire for an $84 palette.

Both of the matte eyeshadows are a touch dusty but very workable when used with a brush–just make sure to tap excess off to avoid fall out–while the pinky lilac shade is absolutely gorgeous, because the sheen is just right. The frosted white shade may be garish on darker skin tones, and the high-shine finish works better on the lid than on the brow to highlight. The sparkly purple shade is pretty but a little sheer and a good portion of the sparkle seems to disappear by the time you apply it to the lid.

My favorite part about the palette is how well the colors work together.  This is not a palette that has too many dark shades, not enough available textures, or colors that just don’t work together.  It’s well-designed to create both lighter purple-based looks as well as smokier looks.  The inclusion of both matte, satin, and frost finishes allows for the creation of looks with depth.

P.S. — Is it just me or are white sponge-tip applicators incredibly cheap looking?  I don’t like sponge-tip applicators in general, but white just seems to scream cheap to me.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a purple fiend, I think you’ll get a lot of use out of this palette.  There’s a good mix of both warmer and cooler shades, as well as lighter and darker shades, to make this a rather versatile palette.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Estee Lauder Holiday 2010

Estee Lauder Pure Color Extravagant for Holiday 2010

“Fantasy, luxury and of course femininity were my inspirations for this Holiday collection. There are many lip and eye colors to play with and they all have a wonderful texture for an easy application.” — Tom Pecheux, Creative Makeup Director, Estée Lauder

This holiday season, Estée Lauder invites you to experience the intensely lavish, new luxury in cosmetics with Pure Color Extravagant by Tom Pecheux. Taking cue from the sophistication and contemporary glamour of the upcoming holiday season, Tom Pecheux created new looks for eyes, lips and nails that are layered with dramatic style and color. Luscious reds and opulent golds set the stage for a bold range of textures that wrap your features in alluring holiday elegance. Introducing Estée Lauder Pure Color Extravagant.

Eyes

  • Extravagant Gold Pure Color Five Color Eyeshadow Palette ($42.00)

Lips

  • Extravagant Gold Pure Color Five Color Lip Palette ($42.00)
  • Extravagant Red Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick ($22.00)
  • Extravagant Berry Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick ($22.00)
  • Extravagant Plum Pure Color Gloss ($20.00)
  • Star Ruby Pure Color Gloss ($20.00)
  • Electric Ginger Color Gloss ($20.00)

Nails

  • Extravagant Pearl Pure Color Nail Lacquer ($18.00)
  • Extravagant Night Pure Color Nail Lacquer ($18.00)

Availability: October 2010

See more photos, plus get details for holiday sets and compacts! Continue reading →

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Estee Lauder Plumberry Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Estee Lauder Plumberry Lipstick

Estee Lauder ‘Pure Color’ Long Lasting Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a plum-tinged red with subtle fuchsia shimmer. It has a medium glossy glint and rich, opaque color. The coverage is excellent, and it feels lightweight despite its pigmentation. It’s also more moisturizing than your average lipstick, which makes it comfortable to wear. I get about five hours of wear with this shade in particular, because it is more pigmented. Estee Lauder’s lipsticks are scented with a lightly sweetened fig but are taste-free to me.

Is this the right red for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Blue Dahlia: Surreal Violet

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.3 fl. oz.) is a gray-toned pink-mauve with copper-bronze shimmer. It’s a little on the sheerer side with two coats, but it was nearly opaque, so I left the swatches with two–but you could probably do a third for a totally opaque result.  The formula itself wasn’t too thick or thin and applied smoothly without any issues.  Drying time seemed average, and there was a soft glossy shine, but I’d still recommend a top coat.

The amount in the bottle is a little below average, I’d say, while the price tag is a bit hefty.  Those with larger collections may want to add this more unique shade to their stashes, but if you’re just building up your collection, this may be too much on the expensive side.  You can grab Illamasqua ($14/0.5 fl. oz.), NARS ($16 for 0.5 fl. oz), and Lippmann ($18/0.5 fl. oz.), which are all stellar polish brands, and get more for your money.

I would also like to give this polish props for being utterly difficult to photograph in natural light — thanks a lot! What a diva on set!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 6 /10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Those who are fans of greiges and purples may find themselves in love with this mix of both!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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