Monday, October 5th, 2009


Animated

L’Oreal HIP Matte Eyeshadow Duos ($9.99) are a more budget-friendly way of obtaining brighter, more pigmented eyeshadows. Each contains two shades of matte eyeshadows with a total weight of 0.08 oz. L’Oreal currently has five different matte eyeshadow duos available: Animated, Dashing, Perky, Poppy, and Striking.

  • Animated contains a chalky grayish-white and a periwinkle blue.
  • Perky contains a medium bright grassy green and a grayish-black.

I don’t love the matte eyeshadow duos. They’re okay–about average–but they’re not stellar. Since they’re matte, I do expect some chalkiness when I swatch, which is always minimized when you’re actually applying them with a brush. Nonetheless, the whitish side of Animated definitely looked and felt chalky and almost garish. I did love the shade of periwinkle blue in Animated, though–not a shade you see often, period. Perky has a lovely shade of green that doesn’t feel chalky or powdery, but the darker grayish-black shade has a lot of drag and just doesn’t have a great texture. So in the end, each duo only has one good shade–the other half is just so-so.

For comparison, a MAC eyeshadow contains 0.05 oz. of product and retails for $14.50 each. You get 0.03 oz. more and pay $9.99 a pop. A lot of mass retailer brands, like L’Oreal HIP, do go on sale on a frequent basis, so when they’re on sale, I’d be more willing to purchase these. At full price, I feel like it’s more than I want to pay for L’Oreal. I do consider the HIP line to be one of the better pigmented eyeshadow lines available at mass. I just wish you could swatch before you bought!

Bottom line: I wouldn’t pay full price ($9.99) for either of these duos, and I’d only really recommend Animated for the periwinkle blue, just because I don’t see that color in a lot of other lines. I love that L’Oreal is bringing matte color to the forefront, and I think the price point is affordable for many, particularly if they’re on sale.

  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you can catch L’Oreal’s H.I.P. line on sale, they’re worth trying. Paying full price on the other hand…

Availability: Drugstores/Mass Retailers

See photos and swatches…  Continue reading →

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

L’Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara

L’Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara ($10.95) is a lengthening mascara that uses tube technology to create longer, more dramatic lashes. I tried it in Blackest Black, which is an intense black, though not the darkest black I’ve tried.

Double Extend definitely adds lengths to lashes, but it clumped up pretty easily on my stringy little lashes, so it definitely requires a lash comb afterward to get lashes to look a little more natural. This mascara really is designed to add length, so it doesn’t do much in terms of adding volume or thickening lashes. For me, not the best mascara, because my lashes need more than just length (they really do need a lot of help–volume, thickness, and length!).

It stays true the claim of being smudge-proof and budge-proof–until you get into water–which is great for contacts wearers. It rinses off fairly easily with water over makeup remover, so a good shower is an optimal time to remove this mascara, but over the sink works just as well. Even though the $10.95 price tag is steep for a drugstore mascara, if you keep an eye out for sales/promotions, the price is much more in line with my expectations.

  • Product: 6/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you have naturally thick and voluminous lashes, Double Extend is great for adding a little more length. Otherwise, you may want to check out L’Oreal’s Voluminous instead.

Availability: Drugstore.com

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Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

L'Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Waterproof Mascara

L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Waterproof Mascara

L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Waterproof Mascara ($7.95) hit shelves this summer and it had a lot to live up to, because L’Oreal Voluminous is an often recommended go-to mascara for beauty fans. Unfortunately, Collagen just doesn’t bring it home like Voluminous does.

L’Oreal’s latest mascara does add volume, thicken lashes, and it’s fairly black in pigment–but it just doesn’t do it with excellence. It’s okay; not bad, not fabulous. I liked the length it gave, but I found it clumped quickly, because it also dried very fast (by mascara standards). Thickness was so-so as was volume. Lashes definitely looked longer and fuller, but Voluminous does this job better and more effectively.

Not that I appreciate a particularly wet mascara, but this one dries a little faster than you can work, which results in clumping and unevenness in thickening. I found clumping wasn’t too bad if you got the excess off the brush first (my inner corner lashes were done where the brush had far too much product on it, and thus, Clump City). The brush itself has very stubby bristles, which is why it can easily lead to clumps if you don’t work quickly or wipe off the excess off your brush first. This mascara wand just isn’t designed to separate lashes, so you definitely need a lash comb/clean mascara wand to do that post-application.

Even though it was pretty average in a lot of areas, one area that it faired better in was holding up to its waterproof claim and not drying my lashes out. Often waterproof formulations lead to dry, crispy lashes, but my lashes still felt fairly soft and not at all stiff/hard. Like most waterproof mascaras, make sure you have a good oil-based makeup remover on hand to make for an easy removal process.

I’m a big believer in the truth’s in the photos–so see for yourself and let me know what you think!

  • Product: 6/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 6/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If your natural lashes are always fabulous, you can easily use this mascara with just one quick coat and have great looking lashes. For those of us who need a few more coats (and a little more help!), this one can be tricky to work with.

Availability: Drugstore.com

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Monday, September 7th, 2009

L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick
Spicy Pink, Robust Raisin, Captivating Copper, Naturally Nude

L’Oreal Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipstick: Robust Raisin, Captivating Copper, Naturally Nude

L’Oreal Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipstick ($9.99) is a newly released lipstick formula from L’Oreal — similar to the orignial Color Riche line, but with an Anti-Aging Serum core. If you notice, there’s a small teardrop of “Anti-Aging Serum” that runs through the middle of the lipstick. These are designed to help improve the look of lips, including minimizing fine lines. The way the product does this is mostly by acting as a lip plumping lipstick thereby minimizing any lines.

This post features four shades:

  • Robust Raisin (#706) is a browned-down raspberry-wine shade with more of a glossy sheen than a frosty finish as is common with many of the other shades in this line.
  • Captivating Copper (#802) is a sheer brownish-nude that goes on glossy and doesn’t appear copper to me whatsoever on lips.
  • Naturally Nude (#803) is a coralish nude that goes on semi-sheer but still opaque enough to deliver color on my lips once applied. It has a slightly glossy sheen that also has a frost finish.

As in part one, these are lightly creamy, semi-glossy/frosty in finish (depends on the shade), and they can be sheer to semi-opaque in color pay off. The same two issues apply as well: packaging feels cheap (just give me plastic, don’t try to psyche me out!) and the scent is a bad mix of lipstick and stale perfume.

Again, I know some dislike lip plumping products, so I’d recommend checking out the original Color Riche line if that describes you. There’s a slight tingle, but it disappears quickly and isn’t painful (as far as lip plumpers go). I think these are a good buy when you can catch ‘em on sale — otherwise $9.99 a pop is more than I’d spend at the drugstore.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 5/10

Recommendation: If you’re on a budget and are looking for non-drying lipsticks that give you decent color, L’Oreal’s new Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipsticks are a good choice!

Availability: Drugstore.com

See swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, September 7th, 2009

L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick

L’Oreal Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipstick:  Pucker Up Pink, Peach Parfait, Compelling Coral, Spicy Pink

L’Oreal Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipstick ($9.99) is a newly released lipstick formula from L’Oreal — similar to the orignial Color Riche line, but with an Anti-Aging Serum core. If you notice, there’s a small teardrop of “Anti-Aging Serum” that runs through the middle of the lipstick. These are designed to help improve the look of lips, including minimizing fine lines. The way the product does this is mostly by acting as a lip plumping lipstick thereby minimizing any lines.

This post features four shades:

  • Pucker Up Pink (#102) is a neutral-cool raspberry pink with frosty shine that goes on fairly opaque.
  • Peach Parfait (#401) is an orange-y coral with a frosty shine that is semi-sheer when it’s actually applied. (It looks nowhere this bright on my lips–more like a peachy nude.)
  • Compelling Coral (#402) is a coral-pink with a frosty finish and goes mostly opaque.
  • Spicy Pink (#704) is a dark raspberry-pink with a soft sheen and a bit of frost in its finish. It goes on semi-opaque.

I haven’t tried the original Color Riche formula (at least not that I can recall), but this formula is soft and lightly creamy with decent color pay off. I find the average wear time is just about two hours (assuming no eating/drinking) before it’s faded away enough that it needs to be reapplied. In terms of colors, I liked Pucker Up Pink and Compelling Coral the most–I felt these shades flattered and delivered in terms of color. Peach Parfait was a bit misleading, going on much sheerer and paler than it appeared, and Spicy Pink wasn’t as dark as it looked in the tube as it was on lips.

I have two gripes: the packaging feels incredibly cheap. It has a metal look, but it’s either plastic or a very cheap metal–it’s extremely light and just feels cheap. The outside casing still holds fingerprints (always annoying). The scent of these lipsticks smells of stale perfume and a bit of the trademark scent of lipstick. It’s just not pleasing, and I’d love it more if L’Oreal would switch to something less cloying (like vanilla or whatever).

Also, if you dislike lip plumping products, you should opt for the regular Color Riche line, as these do have a slight tingle. The tingle is about a three on a ten point scale (with DuWop Lip Venom being a ten for me). These are best purchased when your local drugstore or mass retailer has these on sale for buy one, get one. I find $9.99 a bit steep otherwise.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 5/10

Recommendation: If you’re on a budget and are looking for non-drying lipsticks that give you decent color, L’Oreal’s new Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipsticks are a good choice!

Availability: Drugstore.com

See swatchesContinue reading →