Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Collection
Bronze Goddess Liquid Eyeshadow: Aqua Flash, Ultra Violet, Molten Bronze, Sand Shimmer

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Collection: Bronze Goddess Liquid Eyeshadow

Bronze Goddess was definitely one of the first summer-esque collections to release (with Guerlain’s Terracotta right on its heels!). Each year, Estee Lauder launches Bronze Goddess and while there are certainly near-staple products released (bronzers and the like), they also create a makeup collection around the theme.

This year includes Exotic Bronzing Blush ($35, reviewing later!), Wild Orchid Pure Color Nail Lacquer ($18), Wild Coral / Wild Orchid Exotic Lip Gloss ($18), Luminous Liquid Bronzer ($28.50), and Liquid Eyeshadow ($17.50). Of course, all of those products listed above are, the ever-dreaded, limited edition. I am/was most excited for the Liquid Eyeshadows, because I was very curious to see Estee Lauder do some COLOR!

Liquid Eyeshadow ($17.50)

  • Aqua Flash is a shimmering aqua-blue. It’s like tropical island ocean blue–not quite blue, but not a true aqua, either. Yes, take me away to paradise, Estee Lauder… who knew!
  • Ultra Violet is a shimmering, near metallic violet purple with red shimmer and undertones.
  • Molten Bronze is a metallic coppered bronze with ultra fine gold shimmer.
  • Sand Shimmer is a muted, gilded gold shimmered champagne-gold metallic shade.

The good: Estee Lauder described the new Liquid Eyeshadow as a “[f]eatherweight liquid shadow [that] delivers maximum metallic impact in one stroke.” Count me among the skeptical when it comes to Estee Lauder and vibrant pops of color–but I am always happy to be wrong on this kind of thing! These are surprisingly true-to-color and quite pigmented.

They can be layered for complete opaque intensity or sheered out by blending with either your finger or a brush (try something fluffy with synthetic bristles) for more of a wash (Sand Shimmer works particularly well for a quick one-color-and-you’re-done kind of look). One stroke is pigmented, but to blend it out and cover the lid, you may find that layering works better to obtain truly opaque color–I personally like that you can sheer it out as it makes it a more versatile product, particularly when using it as an eyeshadow base.

No budging, fading, or creasing when I wore Aqua Flash on one eye and Sand Shimmer on the other. (It was a totally happening look, no joke!) They wear well and look stunning. I find I can apply and blend shadows on top and use these as bases, too–because I am incapable of wearing just one product on my eyes…  You can also take an angled eyeliner brush and swipe it across the doe-foot applicator to use the color as an eyeliner!

The packaging is simple: clear tube with a “gold” metal cap with “Bronze Goddess” emblazoned across the tube in gold. The pricing is right on target, if almost on the lower end of what I’d expect.

The bad: I really can’t think of anything bad to say about these. More colors? Make them permanent? They meet every expectation I have in a good liquid eyeshadow: blendable, creamy, crease-resistant, long-wearing, and pigmented. I suppose if we’re being nit-picky, perhaps the shimmer/metallic finish of these is not universally appealing, but they’re supposed to be that way, so… not a true negative but a preference!

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Those who love their metallics and shimmers in vibrant colors may need to take a little detour at their local Estee Lauder counter. Rich colors done well that wear as well as they look make it easy to recommend these if you’re on the hunt for something fun for summer. My favorite shade would be Aqua Flash, but I think the most wearable shade is Sand Shimmer.

Availability: Estee Lauder, Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Chanel Mythic Lipstick
Chanel Mythic Rouge Allure Lipstick

The Spring Season: Chanel Mythic Lipstick

Chanel Mythic Rouge Allure Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a soft nude-beige with subtle champagne shimmer and a rather glossy sheen. I love that it looks like a sheer, lightweight nude, but it’s actually nearly opaque on my lips. I do think those with more pigmented lips may find their natural lip color adds a bit of rosiness to the overall look, though. Rouge Allure Lipsticks carry a very, very low-level scent of roses–I almost wasn’t sure if there was a scent, but since I did go, “Roses?” initially, I’m going to stick with that. Rouge Allures feel incredibly light on lips, less like the average lipstick, and they’re creamy enough to glide on evenly but not so creamy that they slip-slide all over the place.

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

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Essie Resort Collection
Lapis of Luxury / Splash of Grenadine

Essie Resort Collection for Summer 2010

  • Lapis of Luxury Dreamy ocean blue
  • Splash of Grenadine Playful magenta pink
  • Playa del Platinum Elegant and sheer sandy gray
  • Turquoise & Caicos Flirty and pretty tropical aqua

Availability: May 2010

See more photos! Continue reading →

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Midnight Bloom Collection
Dolce & Gabbana Shine Lipstick: Emotion (56) & Delicate (53)

Summer Preview: Dolce & Gabbana Midnight Bloom — Shine Lipsticks & Lipgloss

To finish off our Dolce & Gabbana summer preview of the Midnight Bloom Collection, today we’ll look at two new shades of Shine Lipstick (Delicate and Emotion) and one new shade of Lipgloss (Delicious). Shine Lipsticks retail for $30, while Lipglosses retail for $29. Dolce & Gabbana (the makeup!) is only available at Saks.

Shine Lipstick ($30.00)

  • Emotion (53) is a pinked mauve with a champagne-pink-gold shimmer. It’s like a champagne bronze kissed with fairytale plum. It really does deserve such a whimsical description. These two shades of Shine Lipsticks are particularly lovely–it’s almost like a duochrome eyeshadow, but you know, *lipstick*!
  • Delicate (56) is a softened coral-peach color base with golden peach and gold shimmer and a champagne sheen. Like Delicate, it has that mix of sheen, frost, shimmer, and color. I’d say this wasn’t quite as opaque as Delicate, but it is still a medium coverage lipstick.

I tried Gold Shine Lipstick last December, and even though the color was totally fun and funky (and definitely not similar to anything I already owned, which is kind of a big deal for me!), it didn’t sell me on the Shine formula like these do. Gold showed me lots of shimmer–borderline glitter–but these are softer, smoother. They wear well (four to six hours on me) without drying out lips. Both shades applied evenly and gave nearly opaque color (you can always tell by my lip “freckle”), even though “shine” makes me think sheerer coverage.

If you’re sensitive to scent, you may not like the rosy scent that accompanies Dolce & Gabbana’s lipsticks, though. Packaging is in line with the rest of Dolce & Gabbana: gold metal that looks and feels luxe (nice weight to the lipsticks) but still holds fingerprints. (Seriously, isn’t it about time sometime invented fingerprint-proof metal for cosmetics?)

Lipgloss ($29.00)

  • Delicious (73) is a medium coral-orange cream finish gloss. It is nearly opaque (again, my lip “freckle” is nearly hidden). Dolce & Gabbana described the shade as “candy pink,” but I really don’t think it fits. I just don’t see any pink whatsoever in this. I even have a slightly naturally rosy pucker, so you’d think it would emphasize the pink, but this reads coral on my lips. Not that that’s an issue, though, because it’s a very fun, summer-appropriate shade. It’s creamy enough to give you that no-shimmer, high-gloss look and doesn’t settle into lip lines much (less noticeable from a normal viewing distance than upclose!).

Dolce & Gabbana’s Lipgloss is slightly tacky, though I wouldn’t describe it as sticky–just not non-sticky entirely. I typically get about three hours of wear with the gloss alone, which is about average to a little above average for a gloss on me. Like the Shine Lipsticks, it is rose-scented, so sensitive-sniffers beware! Packaging is a clear base with a “gold” metal cap, and of course, pricing is that of a high-end, more luxe brand (think Chanel, Guerlain, etc.).

Dolce & Gabbana is always an indulgence, but in the past few months, I’ve found more products to love than ones that disappoint. I remember being a little wary in the beginning, but their products have really worked well for me so far!

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: If you’re a fan of shimmer and sheen in your lipstick and don’t mind paying for it, the two new shades of Shine Lipstick are beautiful. Delicate will work beautifully on both cool and warm skin tones, while Emotion will work better on warmer skin tones but is still wearable for those with cooler skin tones (but you may want to pair it with cooler eyes!). Delicious Lipgloss is fun but it’s a warmer coral, so it is better suited for warmer skin tones and would look nice over Emotion.

Availability: May 2010 at Saks

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Givenchy Pardas'Eyes Liner

Givenchy New Impressions Collection: Parad’Eyes

Givenchy Parad’Eyes Eye Liner ($27.00 for 0.1 oz.) includes two new shades as part of Givenchy’s New Impressions Collection for Spring 2010. The two shades are…

  • Mauve Impression (8) is more pink than move. It’s a clear base with lots of shimmering pink sparkle. It’s very pretty and spring-y, but it didn’t show up mauve at all on me! Sephora described the shade as “metallic lilac,” which is a little easier to get behind than “Mauve.”
  • Nude Impression (9) is a metallic bronze with champagne and bronze shimmer. Like Mauve Impression, it seems like a clear base with colored shimmer rather than a colored base.

The Parad’Eyes Eyeliners come in square tubes with predominantly black packaging with the bottom of the top with Givenchy’s logo in blue and the bottom of the product in a bronzy-gold and the label. I find that these liners do stay on well, once they dry (which takes a little longer than the average liquid liner), but with these being more glitter/shimmer based, they look best layered over a solid-colored liner. These can also be fun on lashes for a little extra bling-bling over mascara. They stay on without budging or flaking, but they may be a little pricey just for a glitter/shimmer eye liner!

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love a bit of added sparkle to your spring look, these certainly will do the trick! They’re sheer enough to be versatile and universal, but they have plenty o’ bling to give you that glitz and glam. They’re on the pricey side, though in line with high-end prices, so they may be more of an indulgence. Both shades should work nicely on both cool and warm skin tones, because neither is so warm/cool–though naturally Nude pairs the best with warmer skin tones and Mauve with cooler skin tones.

Availability: Sephora

See swatches & photos! Continue reading →

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

MAC Opulash Mascara

MAC Opulash Mascara for Summer 2010

U.S. Launch Date: May 27, 2010
International Launch Date: June 2010

THE BIGGEST, BADDEST, BOUFFANT LASHES EVER ARE MAKING NOISE WITH THEIR SEXY SWEEP… the most extremevolumization ever seen! Just like going to your hairdresser for the boldest Barbarella blowout you’d ever dare to wear, Opulash creates aesthetic extremes when it gets going, for a dramatic end look. It’s all in the brush: enlarged and engineered to grab roots, lift, hold, replicate, exaggerate, and build-out like an architect intent on astounding with structural sleight-of-hand. Pick up the brush – see it volumize and curl – and you’ll know the difference. Large diameter backs you up, tapered front tip makes inner corners sleeker to reach. Needless to say, no clumping or Spider-Woman Syndrome. Superlative separation, sublime innovation: Everything a M•A•C Artist lives for!

Opulash ($13.00 U.S. / $15.50 CDN)

  • Bad, Bad Black Black

See more photos! Continue reading →