Thursday, October 7th, 2010

LORAC Holiday 2010

LORAC for Holiday 2010

Tie Dye For Lip Gloss Collection ($25.00) (Limited Edition)

These ultra-rich lip glosses feature a tie-dye inspired swirl of one-of-a-kind color. Formulated with acai berry and pomegranate for a boost of protecting antioxidants, these glosses do double duty keeping lips moist and nourished. 5 x 0.11 oz Lip Gloss in Flaming Mix (red), Shocking Twist (fuchsia), Social Mixer (pale pink), Berry Blender (purple), and In The Mix (nude).

Lip Service Collection ($32.00) (Limited Edition)

Includes 5 x 0.11 oz Couture Shine Lip Gloss in Sheer Luxe, Haute, Glam, Lavish, and Couture, 0.3 oz Sheer Wash Lip/Cheek Tint in Sheer Luck (sheer rose), 0.12 oz Vitamin E Stick, 0.04 oz Lip Pencil in #18, Small black zip pouch.

Evening Out Complexion Kit ($38.00)

Includes 0.388 oz. Powder and 0.0846 oz. Concealer, available in Light, Medium, Tan.

Box Office Sensation ($56.00) (Limited Edition) (Sephora Exclusive)

This decadent set contains 36 eyeshadows, nine lip glosses, three blushes, and one bronzer that will help you bring out your inner starlet. Packaged in a compact, faux-crocodile train case with swing out shelves, this cute little number with a dazzling variety of colors packs a big punch.

After Party Collection ($37.00) (Limited Edition)

Perfect for creating party-girl sparkle, this collection features a trio of glimmering pink- and purple-hued eyeshadows, a glittery black eyeliner/shadow pencil, a shimmering nude luminizing powder, and a plumping lipstick—all packed in a purple faux-croc makeup bag that can double as a clutch for the after-party.

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Sunday, September 12th, 2010

LORAC Private Affair Palette
LORAC Private Affair Palette

An Ill-Fated Private Affair with LORAC

LORAC Private Affair Palette ($38.00 for 0.30 oz.) is an enigma, let me tell you! I’ve experienced shades that swatch poorly but work beautifully in practice (NARS Daphne, I’m lookin’ at you!). I can’t think of many occasions where I’ve encountered a product that swatches so smoothly, so richly and leaves something to be desired when used. Private Affair is just that; far prettier swatched on my arm than when I went to use it in a look.

Now, it’s not like it turns into a muddy mess, disappears on sight (well, at least… not entirely), or looks bad, but it doesn’t look nearly as lovely on as it does swatched–and that’s why it’s a disappointment. This is how it happened:

  • 9:10am: Temptalia is heard excitedly shouting, “OMG OMG OMG BABE! THIS IS SOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL!”
  • 9:15am: She starts to work with the products for a look to post on the blog.
  • 9:18am: Mellan rushes into the bathroom wondering why he hears, “GRRR!”
  • 9:25am: Eye makeup looks like it’s been 18 hours of wear with a nap in-between.
  • 9:30am: Sadface. :(

The palette includes six shades: gilded champagne with a metallic-frost finish, beige champagne with a whitish sheen, medium-dark brown with soft gold sheen, grayed taupe with an antique gold metallic sheen, rich berry burgundy with a satin finish, and blackened purple with burgundy glitter flecks. The texture of these just feels so buttery, incredibly soft, and intensely pigmented; you hardly need any product to achieve true, rich color.

The problem, however, lies in the texture, which is really just too soft. If you thought Stila’s eyeshadows were too soft, these LORAC shadows are softer. This means they kick up quite a bit of powder when used–I advise merely pressing your brush into the shade rather than moving it around, because it will get enough product without loosening the rest. The soft quality of the eyeshadow also means that a lot of it ends up on your face, rather than on your eyes. It rained burgundy and eggplant on my undereye area (which doesn’t need any help looking tired!). Additionally, the softer the eyeshadow, the easier it is to blend, but it can also mean that it is even easier to muddy the color or sheer it out with even a light touch.

At the end of the day, they’re just okay eyeshadows. They feel and look stunning when swatched, but they’re just not nearly as standout when used. There’s a little more fall out than I’d expect, and the color pay off looks fierce initially but fades quickly. I had trouble getting the burgundy shade to stay vibrant; it faded to this rather muted, blah eggplant within minutes. The blackened purple shade lacks the glitter when you apply it–it’s like the glitter doesn’t hold together with the shade and gets lost between the pan and your eye (probably eaten by your brush!).

There is also an eyeshadow primer included in the palette, which is housed in a pull-out drawer that sits beneath the eyeshadows themselves. Along with the primer is dual-ended brush that just feels too scratchy and the ferrules feel rather loose, so I ditched it.

Morbid or not, the packaging reminds me of a coffin. Maybe something a vampire would sleep in, with the dark blood red (faux) snake-skin covering. I also think that they could have ditched the primer and brush, since neither are stellar (the primer is so-so, it doesn’t seem to enhance the vibrancy of the eyeshadows). This could have allowed for a much slimmer palette, which would make it more travel friendly. But you know what really drove me batty about the packaging? It doesn’t stay open. That lid did not want to stay open at all, and I bent that sucker back so far and could see it pulling away from the rest of it, and it still kept closing on me.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: I wanted to love this palette with all my heart, but it left me rather disappointed. I think for $38, I’d rather get a couple of eyeshadows that were excellent than six eyeshadows that require more work and effort than I want to put in!

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

LORAC Multiplex Lipgloss
LORAC Multiplex Lipgloss: Intermix, Cliche

Move Over Dazzleglass!

LORAC Multiplex 3D Lip Gloss ($22.00 for 0.17 oz.) is an ultra shimmering, light-reflecting non-sticky lipgloss that gives MAC’s Dazzleglass a run for its money. Giving you nearly three times as much product for $4 more, Multiplex just might dazzle your socks off.

It has a lightweight feel with just the right level of thickness–it’s not so thin that you need to keep going back for more, but it’s not so thick that it feels gooey. There’s no tackiness either, but despite the non-sticky feel, it still lasts a good two to three hours on me–which is average to a little above average for me. A lot of the non-sticky glosses I try tend to disappear in an hour’s time, which I definitely find frustrating.

These glosses are also moisturizing–they don’t dry out lips, even when worn alone, and in fact, my lips feel pretty good after wearing one for several hours. There is a very faint sweetly citrus scent, but I had a tough time detecting it enough to settle on a descriptor for it. Packaging is so-so — it looks cute, but it feels a little cheap in my hand. Not super cheap, but it doesn’t feel as nice as Dazzleglass.

  • Cliche is a semi-sheer fuchsia pink. It has a very sheer, pale pink base, but it’s full of fuchsia and iridescent shimmer that it gives it a much fuller coverage look.
  • Intermix is a browned nude base with peach-copper shimmer and sheen. I think this would be a really flattering everyday shade for those with warmer skin tones.

According to LORAC, the glosses contain holographic pigments, which is where the dazzling, shimmering, and glistening comes in. They have this rich, glossy sheen mixed with flashes of iridescence and lots of microshimmer. It doesn’t feel like shimmer or glitter, so even when it fades, it’s not gritty. The way the shimmer works is that it almost delivers the color of the lipgloss, rather than the gloss itself. Very cool!

I really loved this gloss–great texture, look, and feel–and I hope LORAC will release many more shades in the future.

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 the way MAC Dazzleglass shimmers and shines but find yourself running through a tube too quickly, Multiplex offers the fun, shimmering, dazzling look with a non-sticky, lightweight texture with more pigmentation to boot!

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Sunday, December 13th, 2009

LORAC Leading Lady Lipstick
LORAC Leading Lady Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: LORAC Leading Lady Lipstick

LORAC Leading Lady Lipstick ($22.00) is a creamy, nearly neutral red (runs slightly orange-red) with a very bright sheen (more sheen than glossiness). It applies easily and well, and you can get an opaque look in just two or three layers.

The lipstick formula contains “SMS Complex,” which is an anti-aging ingredient that “neutralizes and prevents the signs of aging by helping to stimulate collagen production and promote cell turnover.” Can’t tell you if any of that is true, but since the price tag is $22 and not $30 just because there is “anti-aging” ingredients in it, it’s like an added bonus if it does work.

But I can tell you this was a moisturizing lipstick that wore very well throughout the day! I found I got a good five or six hours of wear in this, and after it wore off through a meal, there was a slightly reddish stain that was left behind.

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

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Thursday, December 10th, 2009

LORAC Silver Screen Palette ($30.00) is a face palette that contains eight shades of eyeshadow, two shades of blush, a double-ended brush, and a lipgloss. It’s from LORAC’s Hollywood Ice Collection.

The palette is actually divided with both cool and warm eyeshadows — the first row of eyeshadows are warm, while the second row of eyeshadows are cool. The idea behind the palette is having the ability to go from day to night within a single palette. I definitely think LORAC hit a home run on that mark — this can be easily used to create several softer, more neutral looks, while the mauve, silver, and black-blue shade can add drama to any look.

  • Warm eyeshadows: a warmed up champagne, a peachy-pink, copper-brown, chocolate brown
  • Cool eyeshadows: an icy, semi-matte white, a silvery mauve-plum, a brownish-green-blue (reminded me of MAC’s Club eyeshadow), and a blue-black with blue-green sparkles.
  • Blushes: a bright, peachy-apricot and a semi-matte to matte dirty pink
  • Lip Polish: a semi-sheer, reddish-brown with gold shimmer

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use palette with both eyeshadows and blushes in one (but thankfully no lip color wells!), I think you might find LORAC to your liking. The quality of the eyeshadows is great — they’re smooth, soft, and pigmented. They’re not ultra pigmented, but I don’t think ultra pigmentation is always necessary (good pigmentation is enough — ultra can actually make a color harder to work with at times!).

The palette is housed in sleek, silver packaging and it’s pretty lightweight. The brush is a throw-in; it’s not spectacular, but it’ll do ya in a pinch. I think they could have gone with a more neutral lip color (I know, gasp!), because I’m not sure that deep of a shade will work for the majority of looks.

Bottom Line: The colors weren’t necessarily to my personal taste, but these are quality shades at an affordable price. It’s hard to beat $30 for this much product!

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: Still hunting for a holiday palette? Wanting something with variety? Try LORAC!

Availability: LORAC Cosmetics, Ulta

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