Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Elizabeth Arden Perfect Flamingo Lipstick
Elizabeth Arden Perfect Flamingo Lipstick

The Summer Season: Elizabeth Arden Perfect Flamingo Lipstick

Elizabeth Arden Perfect Flamingo Lipstick ($21.50 for 0.12 oz.) is a brightened shade of blue-based pink. It’s a creamy, smooth shade with an almost semi-matte finish — it has just a bit of sheen but it’s very played down. It provides semi-opaque color coverage while de-emphasizing lip lines. One of my favorite things about this lipstick is how moisturizing it is — it really keeps lips feeling their poutiest throughout the day. The wear is fantastic as well, as I can get through a cup of coffee without leaving all my lipstick behind! It doesn’t make through the whole day, but it stays on well enough not to need a reapplication after drinking, otherwise it lasts a solid four hours on me.

P.S. — This is a new-for-summer shade, and it looks like it’s currently sold out… but hopefully it’ll be restocked soon!

Is this the right pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Philosophy Kiss Me Exfoliator

Gentle Lip Exfoliator:  Philosophy Kiss Me

Philosophy Kiss Me Exfoliating Lip Scrub ($15.00 for 0.5 oz.) is a very thin, sugar-based scrub with a strong peppermint scent (and the tingle that comes from it).

This works when it works, but it needs to be stored with the cap facing upwards, and you might have to squeeze the tube around. The oils separate quite a bit from the rest of the product, which means you’ll end up squeezing out mostly oil and very little sugar–rendering it way less effective as a scrub. The sugar crystals are incredibly fine, so if you have sensitive lips, this might be an option for a lip exfoliator as compared to more traditional sugar scrubs, which definitely have thicker, grittier crystals.

The peppermint oil in it is the most noticeable scent of the product, and it also makes lips tingle–but it’s not a painful tingle, just a sort of minty-fresh tingle. I find that it doesn’t taste so hot, and I think it might be due to the peppermint oil (I’ve never found any lip product that has peppermint oil in it to taste good!), so I usually rinse it off rather than simply blot with a tissue or paper towel (as recommended).

I think this product needs a better delivery system, because the existing packaging is too finicky and prone to providing less-than-stellar results. I can imagine people purchasing this, squeezing out a bunch of oil, and being utterly confused as to why this is called a lip exfoliator. Even though the packaging disappoints, the product is decent and the price tag makes it affordable.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

Recommendation: If you’re willing to work with the squeeze tube a bit, you might get a nice, gentle exfoliator out of this product. It’s particularly nice for those who find traditional sugar scrubs too thick/gritty for their lips.

Availability: Sephora

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

YSL #17 Eyeshadow Duo

YSL #17 Ivory Beige/Deep Black Eyeshadow Duo ($41.00 for 0.09 oz.) features a yellow-toned beige with a matte finish and a deep black with a near matte finish (just a smidgen of shimmer).
I purchased this eons ago when YSL had their (first!) Friends & Family Sale, because I fell in love with it when they promoted it during a fall or holiday launch (I think in 2009). I was totally head-over-heels for the depth in the black, so I figured, maybe it was time to splurge on it finally. It’s a very dark, rich black, but it’s probably not the darkest black I’ve tried. Funny how memory blurs those things!

This is an excellent smoky eye duo, and surprisingly, the yellowed beige is pretty workable on my warmer toned skin without looking too chalky (as some light mattes can be). The eyeshadows are soft, smooth, and both are pigmented. The matte isn’t chalky, but it isn’t the softest matte eyeshadow I’ve tried. The black shade is really the star of the duo, though.

It’s packaged in classy, traditional YSL packaging with the faux gold metal look and logo emblazoned on the top of the compact. The logo is also embedded into the eyeshadows themselves as well. Even with the hefty price tag, you don’t get that much eyeshadow — it’s about the same as buying other high-end eyeshadows in singles. Usually, you do see a little bit of value savings when you buy duos, even in high-end brands like YSL, but not so much here. This was definitely a splurge item to satisfy a long-time want, so I’m happy with it.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Pretty but incredibly pricey, so I’d consider it an indulgence and luxury, rather than a must-have.

Availability: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Urban Decay 5150 Lipstick

The Summer Season: Urban Decay 5150 Lipstick

Urban Decay 5150 Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a reddish-coral with an orange edge and lots of shimmer. It’s nearly opaque and finishes with a glossy sheen. Even though it’s described as a coral, it reads quite redder than coral on my lips, but it’s a nice, juicy shade of orange-red that works for the summer season (and doesn’t strike me as a holiday red so much). Urban Decay’s lipsticks are always creamy and moisturizing, though they only wear about three hours on me and have a burnt sugar scent that I know is a turn-off for some (I don’t notice it once I apply it).

Is this the right coral lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Friday, April 9th, 2010

NARS Belle du Jour Collection for Summer 2010

The NARS Summer 2010 Campaign was created and photographed by NARS Founder and Creative Director François Nars. Once again, François turned to his dear friend Amber Valletta and transformed her, drawing inspiration from longtime muse Catherine Deneuve’s portrayal of Sèverine in the movie Belle de Jour.

François began by applying NARS Makeup Primer to Amber’s face, followed by NARS Fiji Sheer Matte Foundation. For a fresh finish he set it with NARS Eden Loose Powder. NARS Orgasm Illuminator was applied to her cheeks, forehead and center of the chin to give her skin a subtle radiance.

For a natural flush, François started with NARS Enchanted Cream Blush on the cheeks, followed with NARS Orgasm Blush blended toward the temples to further highlight the complexion.

On her eyes, he applied the iridescent ocean-blue shade of NARS Burn It Blue Duo Cream Eyeshadow to the eyelid, blending upwards toward the base of the brow bone. Next, François swept the left side of NARS Pandora Duo Eyeshadow across the lid, and brushed the rich teal shade of NARS Cleo Duo Eyeshadow into the crease. Eyebrows were defined with NARS Blondie Single Eyeshadow, using the NARS Brow Shader.

He lined the eyes with NARS Mambo Eyeliner Pencil followed by NARS Nuits Blanches Eyeliner Stylo creating a full lash line. NARS Larger Than Life Lengthening Mascara finished the look.

Lastly, he prepared the lips with NARS Angélique Pure Sheer SPF Lip Treatment and topped them off with NARS Love Devotion Lipstick.

Cream Blush ($26.00)

  • Enchanted Soft-peach

Cream Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00)

  • Burn It Blue Iridescent ocean blue / turquoise

Cream Eyeshadow ($22.00)

  • Cayenne Spicy, deep brown

Lipstick ($24.00)

  • Love Devotion Sheer guava

Lipgloss ($24.00)

  • Coup de Coeur Sheer apple-brandy

Multiple ($38.00)

  • Lamu Fresh, glazed apricot

Nail Lacquer ($16.00)

  • Versailles Opalescent, champagne-gold

Availability: May 2010

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Friday, April 9th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Pink Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Pink Lipstick

The Summer Season: Dolce & Gabbana Pink Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Pink Lipstick ($30) is a pretty-in-strawberry-pink with a soft, frosted sheen. It’s not an ultra cool pink, though it does have cooler undertones. It is a semi-sheer lipstick that delivers some color but doesn’t totally block out the natural lip color. It wears well–about three to four hours–and feels incredibly smooth and creamy on lips without ever drying them out. Dolce & Gabbana lipsticks do have a particularly stronger rose scent, so those who prefer unscented lipsticks should probabyl pass on this one.

Is this the right pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →