Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Video Review: NARS Summer 2011

This is a video I filmed when I first received NARS’summer collection to review, so these are my initial thoughts along with swatches.  For more detailed reviews, check out the NARS Summer 2011 tag for all relevant posts!

Did you pick up anything from this launch? Favorites?

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Giorgio Armani Gloss d’Armani

More than a mere gloss… Concentrated high-definition color, fusing shine, comfort and lasting hold. Giorgio Armani’s color expertise takes a three-dimensional form.

A dress code with 18 captivating color variations: Nude beige, at the heart of Armani’s color DNA, is expressed in luminous half-tones, draping the lips in a sheer chiffon-like veil. From rosewood to raspberry, desaturated pinks add an extra dose of chic to your style. Like moiré silks, the plum shades combine shine and depth of color. An unexpected red shakes things up: Rouge 400, the incendiary signature Rouge d’Armani shade, now in a sheer version for an astonishing, explosive effect. Infused with light, the color melts into a curved, feminine design that echoes Rouge d’Armani’s aesthetic; a couture silhouette in a translucent case with a black lacquer top.

The exclusive Color-Fil Shine technology, allows the texture of Gloss d’Armani to be compared to a weave that gently and lastingly adorns the lips. The secret ingredient: the Color Bond Polymer, already found at the heart of Rouge d’Armani, has the ability to form a supple mesh that traps pigments and pearlescent particles. Thanks to its translucent formula base, the texture gives full expression to color. Mirror oils increase its shine while silicon oil leaves it silky smooth and non-sticky. The comfortable, stay-fast color is like a second skin that remains true for eight hours without fading or migrating. Dress your lips with Gloss d’Armani.

Gloss d’Armani’s velvet applicator is so precise that just a single gesture achieves a flawless result. Impeccably shaped, it hugs curves, beautifully enhances volume and defines contours…instantly and effortlessly, with an expert touch.

availability: On-counter now, 18 shades, $28 each

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Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Givenchy Demesure Audacious Lashes for Fall 2011

Nicolas is overflowing with imagination and is always ready to venture beyond bounardies. Today he reveals his own professional secrets to interminable lashes with staggering volume. The new Givenchy mascara, the mascara that is superlative in all aspects, bears his signature: DEMESURE, Audacious Lashes. This High Tech accessory at the cutting edge of innovation combines an extensible brush and a finishing tool. An exnclusive hyaluronic acid-based formula adds volume to the base of lashes without weighing down thetips. A super-audacious product for extravagant, breathtaking volume.

Generously coat lashes, wrap them in the material like you would a luxurious black sheat. Shape lashes one by one with an ultra thin accessory for a singular definition. It took two years of intensive research to finally create this exceptional item: the first three dimensional telescopic brush.

To create density: the volumising shaft has 16 inlaid grooves which serve as reservoirs for material. Each time it is dipped in the vial, they are engorged with mascara so that the base of eyelashes is covered with a thick coating on application.

To define: enclosed in the shaft, a totally clean elastomer separating brush is released by activating the base of the cap. Its cone shape guarantees ease of use combined with ultra-precision. The finishing tool gives the ultimate touch of precision. Its finesse provides a customized, unequalled, lash-by-lash result.

Three shades: Audacious Black, Audacious Brown, Audacious Green (which is limited edition).

availability: Fall/Winter 2011

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Friday, May 13th, 2011

From top left: This & That, Sage & Wisdom, Heaven & Earth, Mix & Switch, Pretty & Prim, Thunder & Rain

MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos (2011) vs. In the Groove Mineralize Eyeshadow Trios

As speculated in my review, the new duos (which I’m still waiting to get official word on re: release date for in-stores, how long they’ll be available for, etc.) are definitely reincarnations of the trios from In the Groove. Five of the six duos correspond with a trio, while one duo requires taking a shade from two different trios to match–but for the most part, they are all quite similar. All swatches are applied wet (using water to dampen).

  • This & That is a duo that I had to take a shade from two different trios. The ivory side in This & That is warmer than the ivory in Cool, Calm, Collected. The beige side in This & That is indistinguishable from the beige (middle strip) in Making It Easy.
  • Mix & Switch compares closely to Making It Easy. The lighter peach side looks about the same in both. The coppery shade in Mix & Switch is more orange-based than in Making It Easy, which is a little browner and redder.
  • Sage & Wisdom is incredibly similar to Cool, Calm, Collected. I couldn’t tell the difference between the two in terms of color. The darker shade swatches slightly better in Sage & Wisdom than in Cool, Calm, Collected.
  • Heaven & Earth is a near perfect match to Blue My Mind. The blue in Heaven & Earth is slightly more pigmented and looks a little deeper, but they are very much the same, as are the two black shades.
  • Thunder & Rain matches Togetherness well–the purples are indistinguishable from each other, while the silver in Thunder & Rain applies smoother than the one in Togetherness, but the colors are about the same.
  • Pretty & Prim is quite similar to Fresh & Easy. The lighter pink seems a little yellower in Pretty & Prim compared to Fresh & Easy, but the darker berry shade seems the same. I had several readers ask how Pretty & Prim compared to Band of Roses, but the two are from different planets – not at all similar.

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Friday, May 13th, 2011

Kenzo L’eau Par Kenzo Wild for Summer 2011

Kenzo introduces two limited edition scents for summer.

L’Eau Par Kenzo Wild Pour Femme ($55.00)

An energetic, sparkling, fresh fragrance. Tangerine and white peach fuse, then unfurl around jasmine petals. A wild, airy, festive fragrance.

L’Eau Par Kenzo Wild Pour Homme ($55.00)

A fresh fragrance with spicy woody notes: vibrant coriander leaves combine with the luminous energy of mint and the elegance of cedar. A new, fresh sparkling scent with a spontaneous and rebellious approach.

availability: Now @ Kenzo

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

From top left: This & That, Sage & Wisdom, Heaven & Earth, Mix & Switch, Pretty & Prim, Thunder & Rain

MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos: New for 2011

MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos ($19.50 for 0.07 oz.) sees a limited edition release of six new duos: This & That (frost beige rose/satin light beige), Mix & Switch (frosty dirty copper/satin beige), Sage & Wisdom (frost light green/satin deep green), Heaven & Earth (frost deep teal/satin black), Thunder & Rain (frost blue purple/satin grey), and Pretty & Prim (frost rosy burgundy/satin yellow pink).

  • This & That is a combination of a beige champagne with soft champagne sparkle and a yellowed ivory white with a satin sheen. Dry, the beige shade seems a little darker, because when applied wet, it has more of a metallic sheen, giving it an illusion of being lighter through reflection. The ivory shade has a flatter finish when used dry than when used wet. The closest dupes in the permanent line would be Arena (slightly more peach) and Blanc Type (not as yellow in undertone).
  • Mix & Switch consists of a vibrant copper with strong orange tones and a soft peach with subtle orange tones. Both shades applied about the same whether wet or dry. The closest dupes in the permanent range would be Coppering (redder) and Arena (less orange). The deeper orange is also similar to Paparazz-she.
  • Sage & Wisdom is a mix of a lightened forest green–it has this feeling of seafoam green but it’s not aqua enough and too dark to be really a seafoam green shade–and a blackened green with a pearly finish. The softer green shade applies a little sheerly when used dry, while the darker green shade doesn’t apply well regardless of being used wet or dry. This duo was the worst of the six, because the darker shade didn’t have much color pay off. The lighter shade is most comparable to Pastorale pigment (long ago limited edition shade), while the darker shade is a darker version of Flourishing–not quite as yellow-based as Femme Noir.
  • Heaven & Earth pairs a silvered sky blue with a satin finished black. The sky blue appears bluer and brighter when applied wet than dry, and it’s a little sheer when applied dry. The black shade applies about the same whether used wet or dry. The closest permanent shades would be Moon’s Reflection (less blue, more iridescence) and Carbon (matte finish, though).
  • Thunder & Rain includes a rich violet purple with a pearled sheen and medium-dark silvery gray that has a really subtle mauve cast to it. Both shades applied nearly equally wet and dry, though the purple shade was a touch softer when used dry. The purple shade is most comparable to Violet pigment, while the silvery shade is a lighter, frostier version of Scene.
  • Pretty & Prim has a berried red with a metallic sheen paired with a light-medium, yellow-toned pink with a bright metallic sheen. When used dry, the berry shade is slightly sheerer than when used wet. The pink shade seemed about the same either way. The closest permanent dupes would be Cranberry, which is a little less pink, and Da Bling is a bit darker than the pink shade.

Mineralize Eyeshadows tend to work better wet than dry, because the product will bind together better and produce smoother and richer color. Overall, a lot of these shades work as well dry as they do wet, which is nice.  When used wet, they will dry down and fade a little–they won’t quite retain the intensity they have when they’re initially applied (we’re talking you’ll see the dry down result in a few seconds, not hours later or anything!).  The textures seem smoother, slightly less powdery than mineralize products typically are.

According to MAC, the mineralize eyeshadow duos will be available everywhere for 12 months, and then permanent only at freestanding/PRO stores. Available May 19th in North America in-store, June 2011 for International.

These all remind me a great deal of the In the Groove Mineralize Eyeshadow Trios: This & That is reminiscent of Soften the Mood; Mix & Match is a lighter version of Making It Easy; Sage & Wisdom is reminscent of Cool, Calm, Collected; Heaven & Earth is reminiscent of Blue My Mind; Thunder & Rain is reminiscent of Togetherness; and Pretty & Prim is reminiscent of Fresh & Easy.  Please see comparisons here.

The Glossover


MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos: New for 2011 Review, Photos, Swatches

Each year, MAC's Mineralize Eyeshadows seem to get better and better, and I think these seem a little more refined and smoother in texture than previous editions. These shades aren't necessarily unique, but fans of mineralize eyeshadows should enjoy them.











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