Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Top 10 of 2011: Blushes & Highlighters

It’s so hard for me to pick favorites, but these are ten products that really caught my eye this year for adding color and/or glow to cheeks. Since these are products for 2011, I did exclude any spring 2012 products that may have been reviewed this year, as they’re technically for next – so these feature products new for 2011 and permanent products I discovered this year! :)

  1. Guerlain Parure de Nuit
  2. Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous
  3. Guerlain Blush G Serie Noire
  4. Benefit Watt’s Up
  5. Tarte Exposed
  6. Guerlain Terra Inca
  7. Tarina Tarantino Feather
  8. NYX Menage a Trois
  9. NARS Oasis
  10. Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees

What was your favorite blush/highlighter that you discovered this year?

Monday, December 12th, 2011

NARS Casablanca Lipstick
NARS Casablanca Lipstick

NARS Casablanca Lipstick

NARS Casablanca Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “classic, full-bodied coral.” It has a satin finish (so it’s part of the Satin Lipstick formula), which is described as a “lustrous, long-wearing lipstick infused with conditioners to provide comfortable wear and sumptuously, silky color.” Casablanca is a softened tangerine orange with a natural shine and just about full color coverage. Chanel Sari Dore is more vibrant, while MAC Made to Order is glossier and has some shimmer in it. Bobbi Brown Soft Coral is lighter, while CoverGirl Delish is just slightly lighter.

NARS’ Satin lipsticks are creamier than some of the other formulas, though they’re not super creamy or soft. Because they’re not too creamy, they don’t apply too thickly either–you get a nice lightweight feel with your more opaque color. Casablanca wore for around five hours, and it almost stretched to six, but I felt it needed reapplication by the sixth hour. It’s not drying, but it’s not really moisturizing over the duration of wear. I didn’t detect any scent or taste.  As far as oranges go, this is a more wearable one, especially for cooler complexions, though it’s still warm-toned.

The Glossover

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Casablanca

A-
As far as oranges go, this is a more wearable one, especially for cooler complexions, though it's still warm-toned. It delivered on most claims, though the one it didn't meet was hydration--it's not drying, which is always a plus, but it's not moisturizing.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, December 8th, 2011

NARS Misfit Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Misfit Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Misfit Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Misfit Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “shimmering ecru” and “rich emerald green.” The lighter shade is a pale yellow beige with a mostly matte finish, but it has a really soft, silky texture with a buttery, dense feel. It’s similar in color to Make Up For Ever #102 with better color payoff. The darker shade is a greenish-teal; it’s a little tealer/bluer than emerald green, but it’s very close. It has more of a matte color base with pale gold shimmer-sparkle on top. It’s the closest shade I have to Jealousy Wakes, which is greener; I think if you wanted more of a teal and found Jealousy Wakes too green on you, then Misfit would be more up your alley. It reminded me more of MAC Surf USA, which is a touch more teal. It’s soft, smooth, and very pigmented.

Both shades have excellent color payoff, and the two pair well with each other. There’s a good amount of contrast, so you can take it from light to dark and everything in-between. Plus, with the yellow in the beige, you can pull this shade to look greener when they’re used together. The wear of this duo was nice, too; normally, when I wear these without a base, it doesn’t quite last for a full eight hours, but Misfit wore for nine without fading or creasing, though the green shade did stain somewhat, so I took off half of point from application (which does include removal!).

The Glossover

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NARS Misfit Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
One of the best NARS eyeshadow duos I've tried to-date, and the fact that it also happens to have an emerald green (slightly teal!) shade in it is only an added bonus. Those who prefer their NARS duos to offer contrast will find this one does that, too!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, December 8th, 2011

NARS Flamenco Lipstick
NARS Flamenco Lipstick

NARS Flamenco Lipstick

NARS Flamenco Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sheer candy apple red.” It’s a faded watermelon red. Milani Bing Cherry is a bit more vibrant and redder but similar. It is very close to Guerlain Grenade with less of a creamy finish.

It’s not really sheer–you can see my lip freckle peeking through, but it’s still hidden a fair amount. This lipstick’s color coverage is closer to semi-opaque, so it’s not the sheer it’s described as. It’s part of the Sheer Lipstick formula, which is designed to be sheer and long-wearing with a healthy shine in the finish. This is my only issue with the product; it’s great in every other way, and ultimately, whether it’s not sheer enough or just pigmented enough for you, is just part of your rationalization process.

For me, however, I have to look at what the product is supposed to do, because personally, I love more opaque lipstick, but this just shouldn’t be, since it should be sheer as described. While we often have pigmented products that are sheer, this is a sheer product that’s too pigmented! It’s not totally opaque, and there is some translucency to the finish, but if you’re wondering why the pigmentation score is low, now you’ll understand. Thankfully, the extended wear of this shade helps this shade bounce back.

The formula is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and surprisingly long-wearing for as sheer as some of the shades can be. The wear with Flamenco was six hours, which is great wear, though not entirely unexpected with the redness of the shade. While it’s not very moisturizing (and it does claim to be), it’s also not drying, and you can always tell just how bad a lipstick is if you only wear that for six hours! It stains ever-so-slightly after wearing for more than a couple of hours. I did not notice any scent or taste, which is such an improvement from NARS’ lipsticks a couple of years ago that had a very waxy scent. Flamenco should be flattering across skin tones; the pinkness will make it workable on cooler complexions while the red will be workable on warmer complexions.

The Glossover

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Flamenco

A-
The formula is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and surprisingly long-wearing for as sheer as some of the shades can be. The wear with Flamenco was six hours, which is great wear, though not entirely unexpected with the redness of the shade. While it's not very moisturizing (and it does claim to be), it's also not drying, and you can always tell just how bad a lipstick is if you only wear that for six hours!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, November 28th, 2011

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as “frosted ginger” and “shimmering copper.” This is one of the best NARS duos I’ve tried when it comes to quality, but I will readily admit that as far as the shades themselves go, they’re not unique, so you may already own similar shades. It’s a great basic duo for someone who hasn’t already added a few coppers to their stash, though! This is part of the brand’s permanent range, so I think it’s a nice core product to have.

The left side of Isolde is a medium copper with a frosted gold sheen. It has an incredibly soft, smooth texture that’s buttery and dense without being powdery. It delivers excellent color payoff, too! This shade is similar to: Bare Escentuals Louder, MAC Amber Lights, and theBalm Meep Meep.

On the right side, there is a deeper copper with burnished brown undertones and a frosted golden sheen. Like the left side, the texture is amazing–soft, smooth, rich–with intense pigmentation. It’s has more copper compared to Make Up For Ever #12, while MAC Bronze is too brown. Giorgio Armani #5 comes closest but is a touch browner.

Isolde adhered really well to the lid without base, and it wore longer than most of NARS’ eyeshadows do for me–I was able to get eight hours without creasing and to ten with very faint creasing, which is really good. Of course, with a base, there wasn’t any issues at the twelve-hour mark.

The Glossover

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NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A
One of NARS' best duos in regards to quality--excellent color payoff, good wear with or without a base, and a divine texture that's soft and silky smooth.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Saturday, November 26th, 2011

NARS Damage Lipstick
NARS Damage Lipstick

NARS Damage Lipstick

NARS Damage Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sheer muted grape.” It’s a translucent raspberry pink with a subtle shine; it looks a bit like tinted lip balm than a lipstick, because it’s so weightless and merely tinted lips. The effect is very my-lips-but-better in the best way. There’s definitely a difference between my natural lip color and how they look with Damage on top, but it’s subtle and very natural. This would be an excellent every day shade as it is extremely wearable but it will also go well with many looks. MAC Laugh-a-lot is a bit less berry. MAC Capricious is a bit darker.

Damage is part of NARS’ Sheer Lipstick line-up, which is supposed to be sheer in color but long-lasting with shine and hydration. This shade wears three to four hours on me; it’s not the longest wearing lipstick on me, but it does outlast a lot of sheerer shades, as they often last two to three hours (and some even less). This lipstick was scent- and taste-free. I didn’t find it drying, and some NARS’ lipsticks can be, though this wasn’t particularly hydrating–kind of neutral.

The Glossover

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product

Damage

A-
This is a great shade for everyday wear; it's something that will work with many looks, so you can keep in your makeup bag or use it when you're traveling. It's versatile and can be worn with minimal makeup or dramatic makeup.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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