Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Dolce & Gabbana Fire Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Fire Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Dolce & Gabbana Fire Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Fire Lipstick ($30.00) is a truly fiery red — it’s got that ember glow of the fire and the brightness of a red. This is most definitely one of my favorite orange-reds I’ve come across while doing The Scarlet Season. It’s creamy, opaque, and moisturizing. It wears well and lasts awhile (about five or six hours, plus a stain). It has a slightly glossy sheen while the finish is matte. I don’t even feel like I should have to say anything about this shade — I think it really speaks for itself.

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!

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

NARS Cosmetics Spring 2010 Collection

Inspired by Catherine Deneuve’s role as Lucille in La Chamade, the NARS Spring 2010 Collection features soft, sexy shades that are as elegant as they are versatile.

“I love Catherine’s makeup look in this movie,” says François Nars, Founder and Creative Director of NARS Cosmetics who chose supermodel Amber Valletta for the campaign. “It’s very sophisticated and bourgeois in a Parisian ‘16th Arrondissement’ way. She is the perfect reference for this collection, and apropos for spring, a time to embrace color and get noticed.”

Nars created a look that is confident, cosmopolitan and polished. On skin, he applied NARS Fiji Sheer Glow Foundation, followed by NARS Eden Pressed Powder for a perfectly smooth finish. He contoured Amber’s cheeks with NARS Amour Blush then highlighted her complexion with NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush Powder.

On the eyes, François applied the golden moss shade of the NARS Camargue Duo Cream Eyeshadow over the entire upper lid, then blended outward. The sienna shade was used to define the lower lash line with the NARS Push Eyeliner Brush. He then layered the sienna side onto the lid and brow bone, and swept the hue into the lash line. For additional brightness, NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush was dusted onto the eye, and NARS Nabucco Eyeliner Stylo was swept on to line the top lashes. NARS Blondie Single Eyeshadow was used to create an impactful brow. Lastly, two coats of NARS Larger Than Life Lengthening Mascara were applied to the top and bottom lashes.

To complete the look, François lined the lips with NARS Borneo Lipliner Pencil, filled them in with NARS Cruising Lipstick and layered on NARS Easy Lover Lip Gloss for extra shine and fullness.

Lipstick ($24.00)

  • Cruising Pink nude

Lip Gloss ($24.00)

  • Easy Lover Sheer hot pink
  • Ophelia Strawberry nectar

Nail Polish ($16.00)

  • Purple Rain Gothic purple

Eyeshadow (Single) ($23.00)

  • D. Gorgeous Dusty lilac

Eyeshadow Duo (Cream) ($32.00)

  • Camargue Golden moss / sienna

Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00)

  • Kuala Lumpur Rose-gold / boysenberry

Eyeliner ($24.00)

  • Bains Douches Bright sky blue, silver glitter-infused hue

Availability: January 15th, 2010

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Thursday, December 10th, 2009


Guerlain Gentiane Rouge G Lipstick

Lip Luxury: Guerlain Gentiane Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Gentiane Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00) is a smooth, lightly shimmered rose. This is exactly what I picture when I think of a rose lipstick. It’s pigmented, goes on opaque in just one layer, and it feels amazing (as all Rouge Gs do). It’s soft color that looks feminine and very wearable for a variety of skin tones.

This is definitely one of my favorite shades from the Rouge G line that I’ve tried, because it’s a color that works on so many levels. You can wear it alone, for the everyday, with a smoky eye, or with a neutral eye. It’s versatile, and I can appreciate a lip color that I can work into my look wardrobe with no fuss.

Of course, the price is steep, so this isn’t a product for everyone!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re on the hunt for a rosy pink, Gentiane might be it!

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora

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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

See more swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Givenchy Pearl Shine Rouge Interdit Shine Lipstick ($27.00) is an extremely sheer bright white-gold shimmered lipstick. This is the equivalent of the ultra sheer lipgloss that just adds a glossy sheen to your lips — because that’s about all this lipstick does for me. It’s kind of cool to look at, and on lips, it’s definitely a shimmery/frosty confection, but there’s no real color to it. I found it’s a lipstick you use to layer under lipglosses, but it’s not really something I’d wear alone.

It’s hydrating and has a fun, glossy sheen, but without the color, this lipstick falls flat, and for $27 and not even a smidgen of color? I don’t know if it’s worth it. I tried layering it underneath Givenchy’s Tender Pearl Lipgloss (also from the same collection), and it really didn’t add as much as I had hoped for. It adds a little extra shimmer here and there, but the gloss could have just as easily stood alone.

This lipstick gives “sheer” a new meaning, and while I can handle sheer, this seems a little too sheer even for sheer fans. I’m not sure if it’s a “shade” or we should just chalk it up to sheerness, so I’m a bit troubled by how to rate this product overall. (If it’s more of a shade issue, I don’t rate a product down simply because I don’t dig the shade personally.)

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

  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a layering shade chocked full of shimmer… this might be it!

Availability: Sephora

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Wednesday, December 9th, 2009


Giorgio Armani #600 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

Venturing Into Plums:  Giorgio Armani #600

Giorgio Armani #600 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00) is a fuchsia-plum shade in Giorgio Armani’s new long-wearing lipstick formula. The formula is supposed to deliver up to eight hours of wear-time without fading or feathering while feeling moisturizing.

Previously, I reviewed #401, which is more of an orange-based red (more orange than red, I’d say, though) — and the shade didn’t suit me personally, so it was onto the next… #600 is certainly a shade much more up my alley! It’s a bright plummy shade (which is why I’d describe it as a fuchsia-plum) that’s not so bright it’s hard to wear, but bright enough that it can be worn alone or as the star feature of a look.

On my lips, it certainly hugs and adheres to them – looks like it’s natural and yet obviously not (since it’s clearly a brightened up pucker!). It has a very glossy sheen and full color coverage. I initially thought it might be a little sheer, since the swatch wasn’t quite as opaque as it was with #401, but it proved me wrong once I applied it to my lips.

It’s definitely hydrating and wears well — I don’t know about a full eight hours, but I get around five or six, which is good enough for me. It’ll hold on decently through some drinking and a bit of eating, but I didn’t get stellar results through a full meal myself.

I found myself liking this shade much more than #401, and I was happy to see that it wears very similar to #401 as well (reds tend to wear the longest and best, because they’re so deep and richly pigmented!). I’m also still digging the packaging – there’s a magnetic clasp that keeps it locked into place.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Looking for a plum with a lil’ kick? #600 might be it!

Availability: Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue

See swatches… Continue reading →