Saturday, December 1st, 2012

5 Silver Eyeshadows for the Holidays

My favorite way to wear silver during the holidays is on the lash line, actually. It can add a lot of brightness to a look! I like the line the lower lash line with a rich black eyeliner, then pat on silver eyeshadow on top. I also love silvers with blues–very wintry!

  1. Giorgoi Armani #12 — bright, metallic silver
  2. Estee Lauder Cyber Silver — dark, metallic silver-gray
  3. Buxom Chihuahua — metallic, medium silver
  4. Guerlain Les Aquas — bright, light silver
  5. Inglot #448 — faded silver with a metallic finish

What’s your favorite holiday silver eyeshadow?

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

5 Stunning Dark Red Lipsticks for the Holidays

Not so into bright reds? Here are some darker red options! :)

What’s your favorite dark red lipstick to wear during the holidays?

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Giorgio Armani Moonlight White Palette
Giorgio Armani Moonlight White Palette

Not Enough Smoke in This Smoky Eyed Palette

Giorgio Armani Moonlight White Palette ($88.00 for 0.41 oz.) is a face palette that contains one highlighter, two eyeshadows, and one lip color. The shades are described as, “White shimmer highlighting powder is paired with a gradation of grey eyeshadows to create a wash of color, finish with the red lip wax for a sophisticated winter style.”

The highlighter is a pure snowy white with a silver-white shimmer. This one was a bit more sparkly compared to the Moonlight Beige palette. The texture, while finely-milled and soft to the touch, wasn’t as blendable–perhaps easier to notice given how stark this looked against my skin tone in particular. It will look best on very, very pale complexions. The closest dupe I could think of was Benefit High Beam, which is pinker.

The lip wax is a darkened pink-red with a natural sheen. On lips, it looks more red than pink and yielded semi-opaque color coverage. It has a thin consistency, so it looked a lot like a stain when applied to the lips. MAC Fire Sign is a little brighter, but it has a similar look and feel on. NARS Flamenco is also very similar, perhaps a touch more pigmented.

The first eyeshadow is a light-medium gray with a soft shimmer. It had decent to good pigmentation, and while finely-milled, was just a bit powdery. NARS Self Portrait 2 is darker. NARS Ramatuelle is shimmery and lighter. Guerlain Les Gris is more frosted. MAC Silver Gull is similar. Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit is frosty.

The second eyeshadow is a medium-dark, faded gray with a mostly matte finish, though it is sprinkled with sparkle–you just don’t see it show up or at a distance. The color payoff here was weak; it had a faded, almost dry quality to the end result. bareMinerals Chateau is more pigmented, more matte. MAC Scene is very similar, just more pigmented. Chanel Gris Exquis is similar but has no sparkle.

My biggest problem with this palette is in the composition, all quality comments aside. There’s simply not enough contrast between the two eyeshadows for a really great smoky eye. I felt like the colors together ended up looking so much like the other–instantly muddied (if mud was gray). I was originally interested to see how Giorgio Armani took a rather bold pairing (smoky eyes and red lips), but I can see now that the grays are subdued enough that the lips are more of a focal point.

The highlighter lasted just over seven hours, and after eight, there was some slight fading.  The lip wax lasted four hours, but it was a little drying to wear. Both eyeshadows were prone to blending out and disappearing (the lighter shade did this in a particularly frustrating fashion!), but once applied, they didn’t seem to fade much more. The eyeshadows appeared a little faded after eight hours without a primer (but no fading with a primer).

The Glossover

palette

Moonlight White

C+
At this price point, the quality needs to be upped quite a bit! Even if the quality was better, though, I don't think it's as versatile as it could be. Maybe with more pigmentation, you could achieve greater contrast between the two eyeshadows, but as is, they run together.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Yves Saint Laurent Beauty, (Loreal USA) Giorgio Armani Beauty (Loreal USA)Yves Saint Laurent Beauty, (Loreal USA) Giorgio Armani Beauty (Loreal USA)

Giorgio Armani Beauty & YSL 20% Off + Free Shipping!

Giorgio Armani Beauty: Enjoy the Preview Sale! Receive 20% off on any purchase, plus complimentary shipping with any purchase of $75 or more, with code PREVIEW12 at checkout, valid 11/18 through 11/22.

YSL: Enjoy the Preview Sale! Receive 20% off on any purchase with code PREVIEW12 at checkout, valid 11/18 through 11/22.

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro
Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro

Red Velvet That Won’t Go to Your Hips

Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro ($32.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a bright, pinky-red with fuchsia shimmer. It’s more red than anything else, but there’s a definite pink edge and shimmer, which means it is also cool-toned. Guerlain Calligraphy is pinker. Dior Marilyn is also pinker, lighter. MAC Charmed, I’m Sure is cooler-toned and darker. Guerlain Luxure is less cool-toned. MAC Red Racer is very similar but has no shimmer. Guerlain Samsara is darker. Guerlain Vega is similar but has no shimmer.

The Lip Maestro formula is supposed to be “the first lip stain with a comfortable velvet texture and radiant finish” with “intense … color.” It is touted as having a non-sticky texture with “hours of hydration and comfort.” It seems like every brand has rolled out a variation on the matte-lip-in-liquid-form this season, but Giorgio Armani’s is noticeably different from the usual long-wearing, liquid lipstick in its dry down. It doesn’t cling or dry down fully; it’s movable and feels a lot like a really lightweight, thin lipstick. Because it is movable, it will transfer, but it is so pigmented that despite drinking and eating, much of the color lingers on and on. Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait is the most comparable formula that I can think of, but Guerlain’s formula still has more cling to it than this one.

When I tested this shade in particular for wear, it lasted for eight hours and left behind a very slight stain. It’s not at all drying, and it’s incredibly comfortable to wear and easily reapplied, as it doesn’t flake or peel off (fades like a normal lipstick). The texture is smooth and velvety; it’s really as if you put your favorite silicone-based face primer on your lips. That velvety consistency helps to fill in and minimize lip lines, too. It takes awhile for the natural sheen to fade away (an hour or so), so while it does end up with a matte finish, it’s more satin-like initially.

P.S. — Some retailers, like Nordstrom, are listing names for the Lip Maestro range, but neither my box nor the sticker on the tube indicates the name of the color. Giorgio Armani’s site lists this as “503 – red fuchsia.”  I believe this one is called “Code” based on matching up the images on Giorgio Armani’s site and Nordstrom.

The Glossover

P
product

Red Fuchsia (503)

A+
It's incredible pigmented, long-wearing, and comfortable to wear--more comfortable than a lot of comparable products. The texture is definitely one to try, if only to know how it feels like!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Giorgio Armani Moonlight Beige Palette
Giorgio Armani Moonlight Beige Palette

Let the Moonlight Bathe You in Beige

Giorgio Armani Moonlight Beige Palette ($88.00 for 0.41 oz.) consists of a highlighter, two eyeshadows, and lip wax housed in a glossy black compact with a mirror and two sponge-tipped applicators. Giorgio Armani describes the shades as, “Beige shimmer powder joins taupe eyeshadows that intensify gradually, along with Beige lip wax for sheer, natural elegance.”

The highlighter is a pale white-beige with a silver-ish sparkle. There is definitely an overlay of silver glitter that dusts away within the first use (and likely, for the better, since the glitter particles are large). I removed this overlay before I swatched and applied the product. It has a shimmer-sheen finish where a little bit of shimmer is detectable, but it creates mostly a glow-y sheen on the skin. The texture was soft and finely-milled, so it blended easily and sat well on the skin without emphasizing pores or the natural texture. NARS Albatross has more of a golden sheen. MAC Lightscapade is similar but has a stronger sheen. MAC Truth & Light is a touch warmer. MAC Too Chic is frostier.

The first eyeshadow is a soft taupe that leans gray. It has a satin-like finish, and the color payoff is good. Chane Variation is grayer, darker. NARS Vent Glace is warmer, browner. bareMinerals Suspense is darker, grayer. Estee Lauder Tempting Mocha is darker.

The second eyeshadow is a subdued medium-dark brown with just a hint of gray. It has a mostly matte finish with a touch of satiny sheen. The color payoff seemed so-so, but on the lid, it was better–good overall. MAC Omega is lighter. Chanel Premier Regard is a smidgen darker and grayer. MAC Camo is lighter.

The lip wax is sheer, as described; it is a warm peach-beige with a soft, frosted sheen. When applied, it really just lightened my natural lip color and added a soft, frosted sheen. As far as dupes go, any sheer beige lipstick will get you close, assuming you have a natural lip color similar to mine. It had more color than MAC Tropical Mist. RevlonC reme Brulee is comparable in color, though it is a bit more pigmented.  I didn’t love the formula of this, as it is very unforgiving on the lips, since the texture is on the drier side.

The eyeshadows wore for eight hours without fading or creasing (without a primer).  They were incredibly easy to apply and blended out beautifully.  The highlighter lasted for eight hours with minor fading along the edges.  The lip wax lasted two hours on me from what I could tell–something as sheer as this harder to determine!

Overall, I like the palette, but I’m not in love.  The price point is heart-wrenching, and so I need to be in love with the entire palette to get excited about it.  The eyeshadows performed better when I was applying them, and as they’re finely-milled and very, very soft, they can become sheer if blended out enough (which is what happened when I swatched them).  The whole look this palette creates is soft and natural; very work-friendly and nearly foolproof to create.

The Glossover

palette

Moonlight Beige

B+
The whole look this palette creates is soft and natural; very work-friendly and nearly foolproof to create.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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