Monday, October 11th, 2010


Lipstick Comparisons: $26 to $34 (Part 2)

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.

Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, semi-opaque to opaque, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours)
  • NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., scent-free, somewhat moisturizing
  • CONS: May feather/bleed on slightly dry to dry lips
  • MY REC: I don’t find them super moisturizing, though they don’t dry lips out. Typically, I don’t find lipsticks bleed on me easily, but I did have some issues with this one feathering on me when I tested them originally (my lips were a bit drier than they normally are during those tests). Like Burberry lipsticks, there is a magnetic clasp that keeps the lid on.

Guerlain KissKiss Lipstick ($31.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, glossy finish, moisturizing, smooth, opaque, wears for an average of 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., fruit-scented
  • CONS: Basic shade range of pinks/reds
  • MY REC: After being spoiled by Guerlain’s Rouge G lipstick line, despite being $16 more, I feel like if I’m going to go Guerlain, I better go Rouge G. KissKiss is actually a nice formula on its own; it’s creamy, usually pigmented, and moisturizing enough for normal to dry lips.

Lancome L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick ($29.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, opaque, moisturizing, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours), minimizes lip lines
  • NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz, rose-scented
  • CONS: Mostly cream/satin finishes
  • MY REC: I love how creamy it is without being slippery; it won’t slide all over the place, so it actually wears well and on the longer side. It is also a bit pricier than other Lancome lipsticks, which makes it it their top tier lipstick, but at least they give you 0.14 oz., while the average lipstick is 0.12 oz.

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick ($34.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, opaque, good shade range, moisturizing, wears an average of 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., mango-scented
  • CONS: Slippery, shades can be stark, heavy
  • MY REC: YSL has expanded their Rouge Volupte line quite a bit since I originally reviewed the range, and more importantly, I’ve expanded the range of lipsticks I’ve tested as well. I actually find these don’t wear as well as other lipsticks–they’re just too slippery. It’s moisturizing but not overly so, but it is also one of the heavier lipsticks I’ve worn. If your lips are prone to bleeding, you might experience that with the darker shades, since it has a lot of slip.

YSL Gloss Volupte Lipstick ($30.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, sheer (supposed to be), glossy finish
  • NEUTRAL: 0.07 oz., mango-scented
  • CONS: Not very moisturizing, requires frequent reapplication
  • MY REC: Apparently, I’ve never done an official review for this, but I distinctly remember being unimpressed by it. It’s a very sheer formula, which is fine, but I didn’t even see any color on my lips, which goes beyond sheer to me. My lips felt drier after wearing this, and I found myself having to reapply every hour or two. Also, did you note how little you get for $30?

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.

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Guerlain Holiday 2010

Guerlain Les Ors Holiday 2010 Collection

Or Imperial Sublime Radiant Powder Face & Body ($85.00)

A silky loose powder creating a light-reflecting veil with a subtle golden iridescent finish. This year, this irresistible face and body powder comes in an iridescent gold copper shade, beautifully packaged in a reinterpretation of the mythical Guerlain Bee Bottle (50 ml).

Midnight Star ($73.00)

The perfect ally for all evenings out! Midnight Star helps to dispel signs of fatigue and stress built up during the day. Use 1 mini capsule after a long day to revive the complexion and refresh your look — a skincare primer for the busy holiday season.

Meteorites Perles d’Or ($56.00)

A new enchanting color composition of the Meteorites Pearls that illuminates skin with an irresistible pure glow. Enriched with a golden shade to light up the complexion and a violet specially created for the season to catch the light and soften shadowy areas.

Meteorites Poudre d’Or ($170.00)

A stunning collector compact decorated with real black Swarovski crystals. A surprising new powder design featuring imperial bees: 6 pearly shades for a fresh & luminous finish.

Ombre Elcat 4 Shades in 410 Velours d’Or ($59.00)

A new harmony of Ombre Eclat 4 Shades Eyeshadow Palette with new royal colors, embossed with a honeycomb pattern and a royal bee.

Le 2 Volume in 13 Or 2 Nuit ($36.00)

Le 2 Volume mascara with the baic brush 1 in black and a special brush 2 in a gold copper lacquer.

Rouge G Le Brilliant in B64 Bee ($46.00)

A new royal shade of Rouge G le Brilliant in an intense and subtly shiny, violet shade.

Kiss Kiss Strass ($31.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Rouge Imperial (323) Vibrant dark red
  • Rose de la Reine (363) Luminous rosy beige

Availability: October 2010

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Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Guerlain Gilian Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Gilian Rouge G Lipstick

Something Everyone Can Wear

Guerlain Gillian (14) Rouge G Lipstick ($46.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a light pink muted with brown shimmered with champagne sparkle. It’s mostly opaque, despite its lightness in overall color, with a high gloss finish (seems glossier than the average Rouge G). It’s such a your-lips-but-better kind of pink. Gillian is the complete opposite of Gigi!

This is a universally flattering shade, because it’s a neutral pink that’s light without being pale or pastel. It has the same lightweight texture and creamy, smooth consistency as found in the Rouge G line. (I have not had a single Rouge G disappoint me in terms of feel, formula, or texture!) I know for some, this is a “So what?” kind of shade that doesn’t justify the price tag, but for others, it’s a shade they’ll wear often and merit the cost.

Edited @ 7AM:  Pictures fixed!

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you love shades that are ultra wearable and your-lips-but-better, I think you’ll love Gillian.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Guerlain Gigi Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Gigi Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Gigi (68) Rouge G Lipstick ($46.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a new-for-fall shade of neon fuchsia pink with a slightly glossy sheen but nearly imperceptible shimmer. This is MEGA-WATT bright, I swear! Despite its brightness, it’s actually a little less opaque than the majority of Rouge G lipsticks, which is odd. It does remind me of MAC Full Fuchsia Lipstick, which is a PRO shade, but it’s a lot frostier (and thus more reflective). Gigi seems to have less blue in its base, too, and this would make it a touch more flattering on warmer skin tones than Full Fuchsia. I am definitely surprised to see such a bright shade launched by Guerlain, and even more since it’s part of their fall launch!

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product

Gigi

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, September 20th, 2010

Guerlain 2 Place Vendome Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain 2 Place Vendome Eyeshadow Palette

Is this palette worth $84?

I know that it probably sounds funny, but after reviewing and being disappointed by Guerlain’s Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette, I felt the need to determine whether the palettes were a miss in general or perhaps just that particular combination was underwhelming. I decided to go with Guerlain’s 2 Place Vendome Eyeshadow Palette ($84.00 for 0.25 oz.), which is one variation that seemed to stand out more than the others (to me).

The palette includes six eyeshadows in varying shapes and sizes.  It’s housed in a beautiful compact with a filigree pattern on the cover that’s actually see-through.  There’s a black plastic piece that lifts open to reveal the eyeshadows themselves (and on the inside, there is a mirror).  A dual-ended miniaturized brush is also included, and while not something I’d use under regular circumstances, is nicer than many other palette applicators I’ve come across.

This is a rather cool-toned palette, which would make it most suitable for those who lean cool, but it’s still wearable on warmer skin tones, since they’re closer to neutral than very cool.  There is a pale white-beige with a satin finish, muted gray-brown with a satin finish, medium-dark ocean blue with soft sheen, antique gold with a hint of taupe base and frosted shimmer, cool-toned charcoal brown with a semi-matte finish, and darkened purple-black with flecks of violet shimmer over a semi-matte color base.

I think the pigmentation on the eyeshadows is nice overall, but it’s not rich and intense and luxe to me.  I really don’t get the luxury feel from the texture, but these shades are more impressive in their subtle nuances than in Rue de Francs Bourgeois.  I’m not keen on the level of pigmentation in the lighter brown shade, which is a little sheer; though the charcoal-brown shade appears sheer when swatched, it applies just fine with a brush on the eyes (say in the crease).

I’m still not as wow-ed as I’d like to be with these palettes, and while the palette’s case is most assuredly gorgeous, the eyeshadows don’t quite match it.  The texture could be finer, richer — I think this is what makes me go, “Hmm, I want to like you, but it’s not quite there,” because they don’t feel as buttery as Guerlain’s singles, duos, and quads’ eyeshadows do.  I do like that these have nearly no fall out, and they do apply very smoothly and evenly.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION:

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Monday, September 13th, 2010

Guerlain Violine Kiss Kiss Essence de Gloss
Guerlain Violine Kiss Kiss Essence de Gloss

For Fall: Pigmented Gloss

Guerlain Violine (462) Kiss Kiss Essence de Glossicon ($31.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is a juicy raspberry pink with subtle fuchsia and light pink micro-shimmer. The color itself is nearly opaque (my lip freckle is almost covered but it still peeked through). I love that this is a pink that’s not too cool for warmer skin tones to wear with ease–it has just a touch of blue such that it is a cooler shade if I were to classify it.

The formula itself is comfortable to wear; it’s lightweight, non-sticky, and keeps lips moisturized. It does seem to de-emphasize lip lines and the color, despite the pigmentation, did not settle into my lip lines much at all. It does have a high-shine finish, so there is no mistaking it for a lipstick, as it is most definitely a gloss! I get between three and four hours of wear with it, and it doesn’t completely disappear after having a cup of coffee either–which is nice!

Essence de Gloss is housed in a “gold” rectangular case with a thin cut out where the color of the gloss shows through (it really is the gloss that shows through–it is absolutely clear until you pull the wand out once!). The packaging looks pretty, though it lacks the heft typically associated with Guerlain’s products, which may be a good or bad thing, depending on your needs.

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: I love that there is pigmentation to the gloss without being entirely opaque or thick. It’s not sticky at all, too!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstromicon

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