Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Estee Lauder Extravagant Night Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Extravagant Night Nail Lacquer

Best of Fall: Extravagant Night

Estee Lauder Extravagant Night Nail Lacquer ($18.00 0.3 fl oz.) is a stunning deep dark purple wine base decked out with multi-colored flecks that range from deep fuchsia to violet to gold. Ahh! This was absolutely gorgeous from the first coat on (two coats shown). I don’t even know how to describe the way it looks, because it practically dances under bright lights (like flash), but it still retains its character and depth in natural light. It applies evenly, just like a normal shimmer polish tends to do, but the effect is so much more like a glitter–without the grittiness.

It’s sold out in a lot of places, but Macy’s still has it online! I wish it weren’t so expensive or else they put more in the bottle (0.3 fl. oz. is below average for the price point).

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If it’s something in your budget, YES!

AVAILABILITY: Macy’s

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Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara
Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara

Sneak Peek: Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara

New for December, Estee Lauder’s Sumptuous Extreme Mascara ($23.50) promises to deliver a volumizing mascara that never clumps and “[makes] eyes look outrageously big and amazingly bold.” The brush even has its own name–Extreme BrushComber–which has a new shape that is said to hold more mascara, be easy to use and get to all your lashes in spite of its size. The formula has “Tri-blend Multiplying Fibers,” which include “Hollow Tube Fibers” for curl and length, “Solid Rod Fibers” for volume and length, and “Micro-Locking Fiber” for thickeness and length. Finally, it contains Lash-Advancing Vitamin Complex, which has Vitamin B5, designed to condition lashes and keep lashes flexible. It will be available in four shades: Extreme Black, Extreme Brown, Extreme Indigo, and Extreme Violet.

The brush itself is quite large–a full 1 3/4″ in length when I measured–but the way it narrows and tapers does make it easier to maneuver around the inner corners of eyes. I do find it more difficult to use it on lower lashes, just because it is so large, but I think users of Dior’s DiorShow won’t find it much larger. After using this mascara for a couple of weeks and alternating with other mascaras, I did feel like the brush itself was more helpful in defining lashes–just separating them as I was applying the mascara–than the average mascara wand.

My fringe definitely looked longer and fuller–it had a slightly feathery quality to it–but the richness of the black made the overall effect more dramatic. I was able to do several passes through my lashes without getting any clumping, and this is a mascara that you can easily do a second or third coat of, too, if desired. It doesn’t dry immediately (15-20 seconds), but it’s not so wet that you’ll have mascara residue underneath your eye if you blink. My lashes felt incredibly lightweight and soft–flexible and bendable. I was able to push and rub (gently!) against my lashes and didn’t experience any flaking either.

I was most impressed by the richness of the Extreme Black shade–deep dark black, very inky and solid. It’s definitely one of the blackest mascaras I’ve tried in recent memory. It volumizes nicely, and it gives enough thickness to my lashes to make them more noticeable, but it still feels like I’m wearing one of the lighterweight, more natural mascaras (think Maybelline Full ‘n Soft) but I get the effect of dramatic mascara. I experienced no flaking, smudging, budging, or other ill effects after twelve-hour wear.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you have shorter, sparser lashes, Estee Lauder does double-duty with lengthening and volumizing. Oh, and if you have black lashes but still want them blacker? This will make them even darker!

AVAILABILITY: Estee Lauder, December 2010

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Estee Lauder Star Pink Pure Color Gloss
Estee Lauder Star Pink Pure Color Gloss

Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss: Star Pink

Estee Lauder Star Pink Pure Color Gloss ($20.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a milky pale pink with fine golden shimmer. It’s described as a “cool light lilac,” and it swatches that way on my arm, but on my lips, it ends up looking a lot pinker. I could see the lilac being pulled out if your lips are naturally cooler or paler.

Pure Color Glosses have a sponge-tipped applicator, and they are all fig-scented (as the majority of Estee Lauder’s lip products are), which is a slightly sweetened fruit scent. This gloss is just barely tacky; I hate to say it has any tackiness, but there is a touch there. I get about two to three hours of wear, which is average, and I don’t find these glosses to be drying either.

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

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a nice gloss, and with so many shades to choose from, if this particular shade of pink isn’t up your alley, you may find another one that is.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Estee Lauder Night Bloom Pure Color Gloss Stick
Estee Lauder Night Bloom Pure Color Gloss Stick

Estee Lauder Gloss Sticks: Night Bloom

Estee Lauder Night Bloom Pure Color Gloss Stick ($18.50 for 0.08 oz.) is the warmer sister of Mauve Mirage. It’s a warmer pink with soft golden shimmer with a glossy finish. The color itself is semi-opaque (very close to being opaque, actually) but still looks soft and elegant.

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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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.).

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

  • 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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