Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Long-time readers will know that Guerlain is easily one of my favorite brands. A lot of my very favorite products are by the brand, from foundation to finishing powder to lipstick. If we threw limited edition shades into the mix, there’d be even more favorites to be found. If you’re new to the brand and aren’t sure where to start, let me share with you my five must-have products…

  1. Guerlain Meteorites — pressed or loose pearls, they’re a cult favorite for a reason. I prefer the pressed as a finishing powder to add subtle luminosity back into the skin. If you like a little more shimmer and sparkle, I’d opt for the loose pearls.
  2. Guerlain Rouge G Lip Color — it’s been a non-stop winner for my very, very favorite lipstick formula for years; long-wearing, hydrating, smoothing, and good variety of colors. Guerlain’s strength, for me, has always been in base and lip products.
  3. Guerlain Le Vernis — incredibly glossy (without a top coat), highly pigmented, and long-wearing–I love the cream finishes best.
  4. Guerlain Rouge G de Guerlain L’Extrait — long-wearing, intensely pigmented, matte lip color
  5. Guerlain Parure de Lumiere — foundation is another strength by the brand, as I haven’t encountered one I didn’t like (and my favorite, Parure Gold, is now discontinued), and every time I wear Parure de Lumiere, a reader asks about my skin care routine. The major downside is they have a limited shade range.

Have you tried Guerlain? Any must-haves you’d recommend to others?

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013


Holiday Indulgences

One question I get asked a lot prior to Sephora’s winter sale (20% off for VIBs with code VIBTOPIA, 11/7 through 11/11!) is, “What do you recommend?” This is a loaded question! There are so many ways to answer this question! The way I tend to frame my answer is in the context of, “What have I wanted to buy but felt was a little too expensive normally? What favorites do I need to stock-up on?” I think sales offer us an opportunity to indulge in something that might be above our price point comfort zone the rest of the year, or be more willing to take a chance on a brand we’re not familiar with (because they’re not cheap!) as well as stock-up on things we know we’ll use over and over again.

Of course, it being the holiday season, there are also plenty of seasonal offerings to indulge in like sets and palettes–you can see my top palette picks in full here as well as some picks for sets and kits generally. Those both cover some of the seasonal offerings, and this post is less focused on seasonal/limited edition as it is just really fantastic products that I highly recommend from trying them.

Products to Indulge In — Lips

  • Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick ($22 @ Sephora, see my review here) — great if you love creamy, more emollient lipsticks with high pigmentation and moderate lasting power
  • YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains ($34 @ Sephora, see my review here) — long-wearing, moderately pigmented color that doesn’t dry out lips
  • Givenchy Le Rouge ($36 @ Sephora, see my review here) — creamy, luminous opaque lip color that wears well, makes lips look smoother than they really are
  • Guerlain Rouge G Lip Color ($49.50 @ Sephora, see my review here) — Rouge G is a long-time favorite (still reigning supreme after years and years of trying new formulas) for long-wear, hydration, opacity, and feel
  • Buxom Full-Bodied Lipstick ($21 @ Sephora, see my review here) — superbly hydrating, smooth, rich color that wears well
  • Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipgloss ($24 @ Sephora, see my review here) — for a high-gloss, insanely shimmering/glimmering gloss

Products to Indulge In — Face

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush ($26 @ Sephora, see my review here) — a variety of gorgeous shades from intensely pigmented to subtly neutral with a soft, blendable formula
  • Illamasqua Velvet Blusher ($26 @ Sephora, see my review here) — perfect for someone who loves the feel and blendability of of a cream blush but look and finish of a powder
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder ($45 @ Sephora, see my review here) — a gorgeous finishing/luminizing powder to give that something special to the skin (and don’t forget the Ambient Lighting Palette!)
  • Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($ @ Sephora, see my review here) — creates a lovely, smooth canvas and helps keep makeup on longer

Products to Indulge In — Eyes

Most of what I wanted to recommend (in terms of what came to mind) were palettes, which I’ve recommended previously here.

  • Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo ($38 @ Sephora, see my review here) — buttery, soft texture and intense color payoff
  • bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow ($30 & up @ Sephora, see my review here) — one of my all-time favorite eyeshadow formulas for texture and color payoff
  • Dior Diorshow Fusion Mono Eyeshadows ($30 @ Sephora, see my review here) — obsessed with these pigmented cream eyeshadows that wear well

Products to Indulge In — Nails

  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer ($18 @ Sephora, see my review here) — high-shine, long-wearing formula with a nice range of colors/textures
  • Illamasqua Nail Varnish ($17 @ Sephora, see my review here) — one of my all-time favorites for application, wear, and range
  • Guerlain Nail Lacquer ($23 @ Sephora, see my review here) — so glossy and high-shine, pigmented, long-wearing

Products to Stock-Up On

These are your favorites, but this is a little list of basics that we sometimes blank on but often have a favorite we use quite frequently, so consider what you reach for in these product types:

  • Eyeshadow Primer
  • Lip Balm/Lip Care
  • Foundation
  • Skincare
  • Mascara
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Sprays
  • Top/Base Coats (for nails)
  • Makeup Remover

Are you indulging in Sephora’s upcoming VIB sale? What’s on your list? What would you recommend to someone?

And if you aren’t a VIB, while Sephora has hinted at upcoming promotions for BIs as well, they haven’t confirmed what that means (could just be more samples, free shipping, etc. or it could be really awesome), Beauty.com’s F&F sale is open to all with 20% off.

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Guerlain Crazy Meteorites Radiance Powder
Guerlain Crazy Meteorites Radiance Powder

Guerlain Crazy Meteorites Radiance Powder ($69.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a pale, pearlescent pink-tinged translucent powder. It brightens and adds a subtle luminosity to the skin all-over. It also extended the wear of my foundation by an hour and a half, though that’s more of a bonus, as the brand’s description says nothing about improving wear.  The pan uses a combination of pink, beige, lavender, and mint green, but the effect of the color swirled is a pale, cool-toned pink. I think the effect is comparable to Hourglass Mood Light, perhaps a bit more luminous.

Technically, Guerlain labels this as a “Radiance Powder” for the face, whereas past iterations of the pressed Meteorites formula are “Exceptional Pressed Powder.” This even contains significantly more product at 0.35 oz., as compared to 0.26 oz. for the Meteorites Voyage / Exceptional Pressed Powders. I really couldn’t detect any difference in texture or effect between the two formulas. Except the most obvious: more bang for your buck, because the permanent Mythic will cost you $55 just for the pan ($170 for the compact and pan). It brightens, softens the look of skin, and adds back a natural luminosity that gives skin a natural look. It works all-over, and on my medium complexion, it didn’t look chalky despite its cooler pink tone. Like other Guerlain powders, it is violet-scented.

I bought this when it popped up late last week on Nordstrom, because ever since falling in love with Wulong (last year’s Meteorites compact) and finding Mythic (part of the permanent range) equally impressive, I knew that there would be no way I’d skip this year’s. I’m glad I didn’t, because here’s why Meteorites are addictive: when I walked by my husband after applying this all over my face, he said, “Hey, you look really beautiful right now.” This after having passed him a dozen or more times, and all I had on was foundation and then used the Crazy Meteorites all-over to set and finish (no eyeshadow, blush, or lip color). I kid you not, as I was working through other swatches, he came over so he could look upon my beauty. So yes, Crazy Meteorites might make people go crazy around you.

The Glossover

LE
product

Crazy Meteorites

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, October 7th, 2013

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire So Crazy! Perfumed Shimmer Powder
Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire So Crazy! Perfumed Shimmer Powder

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire So Crazy! Perfumed Shimmer Powder ($89.00 for 0.61 oz.) is a shimmering, pale pink powder scented with a sweet cherries and creamy almond. It’s a decadent, luxurious vanity treat–by no means a must-have, but it’s a nice-to-have if you go out and dress in little black dresses. The way the shimmer dances in the light is exquisite–really–and it dances, glimmers, and sparkles all at once and looks quite lovely on the body (shoulders, decolletage, legs). The shimmer is like micro-sparkle; larger than shimmer, smaller than sparkle and glitter. On the face, I think it can be too over-the-top unless you love sparkle, but it’s a product that works really well in hair, on arms, shoulders, legs, and so on.

One spray held about six to eight inches away, and the result is a light dusting of fairy dust all over the skin.  One spray held closer to the skin (one to inches away) will yield more concentrated shimmer and color.  To get a heavier swatch of product, I sprayed twice close to the skin, so you can see the bluish-pink color base of the product, but it’s virtually translucent when applied normally.

The Glossover

LE
product

La Petite Robe Noire So Crazy!

The way the shimmer dances in the light is exquisite--really--and it dances, glimmers, and sparkles all at once and looks quite lovely on the body (shoulders, decolletage, legs). The shimmer is like micro-sparkle; larger than shimmer, smaller than sparkle and glitter. On the face, I think it can be too over-the-top unless you love sparkle, but it's a product that works really well in hair, on arms, shoulders, legs, and so on.
Results
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Friday, October 4th, 2013

Guerlain Sulfurous Nail Lacquer
Guerlain Sulfurous Nail Lacquer

Guerlain Sulfurous Nail Lacquer ($23.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep, artificial black with particles of violet.” It’s a dark, plummy black-brown with burgundy and violet shimmer and a slightly metallic finish. Urban Decay Wrecked (LE) is a cream finish. MAC Blueblood (LE, $16.00) is also a cream. Chanel Western Light (LE, $27.00) is darker, less shimmery. Cult Nails Enigmatic (LE, $12.00) is lighter, purpler. China Glaze Jungle Queen (LE, $8.00) is lighter, purpler. See comparison swatches.

There were slight visible brush strokes to the resulting finish, though they were not noticeable from afar–only up-close and under a lot of light. It had fairly good shine without a top coat, and two coats yielded fully opaque color.  The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it spread evenly and easily without pooling along the edges.  Guerlain’s lacquer has a larger, wider brush, which works really well for spreading one coat across the entire nail in one stroke (which does help to minimize unevenness and streaking).  I wasn’t able to come up with a really great dupe for this, so I definitely loved adding something more unique to my stash, and the only negative was that there were a few visible brush strokes.

P.S. — This isn’t yet online (that I could find) but should pop up online soon.

The Glossover

LE
product

Sulfurous

A

I wasn't able to come up with a really great dupe for this, so I definitely loved adding something more unique to my stash, and the only negative was that there were a few visible brush strokes.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Guerlain Crazy Paris Eye Palette
Guerlain Crazy Paris Eye Palette

Guerlain Crazy Paris Eye Palette ($86.00 for 0.37 oz.) contains four eyeshadows and two powder liners (each containing about 0.06 oz., which is larger than the average full-sized eyeshadow–typically 0.05 oz.). It actually contains a lot more product than the permanent Ecrin 6 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palettes ($86.00 for 0.25 oz.). The powder liner shades can be used wet or dry.  This palette is best suited for someone who tends to like their eyeshadows to have very soft textures and somewhat soft color–only the copper and black shades are very pigmented, the rest are less so.  When I wore them together, the overall look was light and muted. The more pigmented shades lasted well for nearly nine hours, while the less pigmented ones were slightly faded by nine hours.

Crazy Paris #1 is a bright, golden copper with strong orange and yellow undertones and a frosted, metallic finish. It had a really soft, buttery texture that applied smoothly with excellent color payoff. This was the best eyeshadow in the palette. Sleek MakeUP Sunset #10 (P) is very similar. Maybelline Breaking Bronze (LE, $6.99) is less frosted. MAC Brownluxe #3 (P) is yellower. NARS Isolde #1 (P, $24.00) is darker. MAC Retrospeck #2 (LE) is browner. MAC Campfire (LE) is darker, browner. Guerlain Calligraphy #2 (LE) is a touch less metallic. bareMinerals Bragging Rights (LE) is more orange. See comparison swatches.

Crazy Paris #2 is a golden beige with a metallic sheen. It had so-so color payoff, though the texture was soft and finely-milled. Disney by Sephora Sea Shells (LE) is similar. MAC Vanilla (P, $15.00) is more matte. MAC Dazzlelight (P, $15.00) is less metallic. Benefit Bikini-tini (P, $20.00) is a cream product. See comparison swatches.

Crazy Paris #3 is a subtly cool-toned, silve-white with a frosted, metallic finish. It had good pigmentation, though it wasn’t not as opaque as the copper eyeshadow. The texture was very soft. Dior Lune (001) (P, $30.00) is a cream product. Disney by Sephora Midnight Hour #1 (LE) is less metallic. theBalm Sassy (P) is less metallic. theBalm Metal-ica (P) is less metallic. NARS Flowers 3 #1 (LE) is similar. MAC Crystal Avalanche (P, $15.00) is cooler-toned, less metallic. See comparison swatches.

Crazy Paris #4 is a medium-dark pink with silver and white sparkle. It had semi-sheer color payoff, and the texture was somewhat sparkly, so it wasn’t as smooth. This shade was prone to fall out both during application and later on during wear. Wet ‘n’ Wild Your 15 Minutes Aren’t Up #3 (LE) is more matte. CoverGirl Fired-up Pink (305) (P, $4.99) is more sparkly. Urban Decay Noise (LE) is less sparkly, cooler-toned. MAC Tease with Ease (P, $21) is more satiny. MAC Brash & Bold (LE, $21.00) is brighter, less sparkly. Guerlain Terra Azzurra #2 (LE) is more matte but very, very similar in color. Dior Bow (887) (P, $29.00) is darker, less sparkly. See comparison swatches.

Crazy Paris #5 is a medium-dark, neutral-warm gray with a mostly matte finish. Dry, it is fairly sheer and so soft that it does turn a bit powdery. Wet, it comes together better, but it is only semi-opaque. MAC Smokeluxe #4 (P) is more shimmery. Urban Decay Ace (LE) is darker, more shimmery. MAC Interior Life (LE) is lighter. MAC Moody (LE) is a touch darker. MAC Howzat (LE) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Crazy Paris #6 is a rich, deep black with a matte finish. It is very soft and finely-milled, so it can get somewhat powdery. Applied wet, it is less powdery and about the same in depth of color. Of course, this shade is easier to dupe than the others. LORAC Black (P), Sugarpill Bulletproof (P, $12.00), Urban Decay Blackout (P, $18.00) NARS Night Breed (LE, $24.00), Milani Pitch Black (P, $5.99), MAC Carbon (P, $15.00), Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit #4 (LE), Make Up For Ever #04 (P, $20.00) are all similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Crazy Paris

B

This palette is best suited for someone who tends to like their eyeshadows to have very soft textures and somewhat soft color--only the copper and black shades are very pigmented, the rest are less so. When I wore them together, the overall look was light and muted.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Crazy Paris #1

A

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Crazy Paris #2

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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