Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Lippmann Collection Superstar Nail Lacquer ($35.00 for 3 0.5 oz. lacquers) is another shade that’s part of Lippmann Collection “Celebrate” Nail Set. It also includes Ruby Red Slippers and Funky Chunky (which is similar to Ruby Red Slippers, except it’s a black jelly base with black glitter).

While I don’t love Superstar quite as much as Ruby Red Slippers, I do love it quite a bit! The black-brown jelly base with the small-sized muted copper-orange glitter particles looks ridiculously perfect for the fall/Halloween. In fact, as soon as I finish up swatching up a few more polishes I’ve been meaning to review, I’m going to be doing an alternating manicure of Ruby Red Slippers and Superstar for Halloween. Ahh, so perfect!

Superstar goes opaque and full-on glitter within two medium-thick coats of lacquer, and it dries pretty fast, actually, even without a fast drying top coat.

As with any glitter polish, removal isn’t the easiest or quickest, but I consider it something that just goes with the territory. I know some dislike the clean-up rituals associated with glitter polishes, but I didn’t find it too time consuming or difficult. My technique is to take a cotton pad soaked in remover and let it sit on my nail for about 2-3 seconds (just press the pad against the nail), then move to another nail, repeat… and then go back and remove the polish.

Superstar is currently only available in the Celebrate Set, so value-wise, it’s a good deal, since you get three for $35, rather than $16 a pop.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I’m slowly falling in love with Lippmann lacquers. The glitter is so sparkly and glitzy–I die! If you love glitter, this is a great set.

Availability: Nordstrom

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009


Lippmann Ruby Red Slippers Nail Lacquer

Lippmann Collection Ruby Red Slippers Nail Lacquer ($35.00 for 3 0.5 oz. lacquers) is part of Lippmann’s “Celebrate” Nail Lacquer Set, which features three shades of nail lacquers (two new and limited to the set–at least for now).

Ruby Red Slippers is, quite possibly, one of the most beautiful nail lacquers I’ve ever seen. It’s absolutely stunning. It’s a burgundy-black jelly base with two sizes of red glitter–small glitter particles mixed with larger, hexagon-shaped glitter. The combination of the two glitter sizes is unique and fun, but just the dark base with the rich ruby red glitter is gorgeous.  I know in the photos the red seems a little fiery, but when I look at my nails in natural lighting, I see more of a scarlet, ruby red.

The formula stays on with minimal tip wear when I used it with Zoya’s Color Lock System (base, top, and fast drying coats). It’s easy to apply, and the glitter doesn’t seem to drag much, so you do get a nice look. As with most glitters, you won’t necessarily get a 100% uniform look, but it doesn’t bother me. I used just two medium-thick coats to get a good, solid look with plenty of sparkle.

I know some dislike the clean-up rituals associated with glitter polishes, but I didn’t find it too time consuming or difficult.  My technique is to take a cotton pad soaked in remover and let it sit on my nail for about 2-3 seconds (just press the pad against the nail), then move to another nail, repeat… and then go back and remove the polish.

Bottom Line: LOVE THIS. The kit is $35, and you do get this plus two other polishes (and let me say, Super Star is divine–will review it separately), so I absolutely think the value on these is fantastic, considering Lippmann lacquers usually retail for $16 a pop.

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

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

Recommendation: If you love glittery nails, I think these are tops. They’re great shades for fall and winter, but Ruby Red Slippers just blows my mind!

Availability: Nordstrom

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009


Bobbi Brown Chrome Eyeshadow: Gold, Silver, Pewter

Bobbi Brown Chrome Eyeshadow ($22.00 for 0.1 oz.) are new and limited edition from Bobbi Brown’s Holiday Collection for the holiday season.

These are stunning metallic finish eyeshadows — ultra pigmented, feel like butter, and blend easily. There are three shades available: Gold, which is a darker bronzy-gold; Silver, which is a bright metallic silver-gray; and Pewter, which is a taupe-brown gold with a silver-gold sheen. All three are equally amazing, just from the first use. They’re so soft, and each shade packs plenty of color. I think I may have to get a back-up of Pewter, because it’s just such an excellent color in a stellar formula. (I’m totally planning to use Pewter as a one-swipe-and-you’re-done shade!)

Bottom Line: Considering the size of the shadow (they’re cheaper than MAC, by the ounce!), the sleek packaging of Bobbi Brown (though it does hold fingerprints), and the amazing quality of these shadows… I am in love! So smooth, so rich in color, and I’m all over anything metallic. Perfect shades for holiday, too!

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: If you love metallic, shiny, or otherwise gilded eyeshadows… I think you’ll enjoy Bobbi Brown’s Chrome Eyeshadows!

Availability: BobbiBrownCosmetics.com

See photos and swatches... Continue reading →

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

The Scarlet Season: Korres #55 Red Guava Lipstick

Korres’ Guava Lipstick is an amazing formula, albeit pricier than I feel it should be, and the red shade is a really fabulous starter-red. You know, like you’re not quite sure you’re ready for a full-stop red, so you need to work your way towards it… that’s what this shade is for. #55 Red is a soft, semi-opaque red with just a hint of pink. It’s not too bright, nor does it run orange or blue, so it’s very wearable. The formula itself is incredibly hydrating, so it even wears well and leaves lips feeling soft at the end of the day.

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!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension ($28.00) is an extension (harhar!) of Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes Mascara. This is a lengthening mascara, whereas the original Phenomen’Eyes is more of an all-purpose mascara, though it is designed to curl and separate lashes. Both mascaras describe the final result as “lashes with a panoramic effect.” I tried out Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension in Extension Blue, which certainly looks like a medium navy blue on the wand and in the tube.

On my lashes, the color itself is minimal–if you have lighter or blonder lashes, I imagine the blue will be more pronounced. To get more color pay off, I do recommend trying it with a fleshy-colored lash primer (most lash primers are white–my favorite is Lancome’s Oscillation Primer). Aside from the color, I was incredibly impressed by the superior length I achieved with a few coats of this mascara. My lashes looked longer, just a smidgen thicker (but I wouldn’t call this mascara thickening), and it kept my lashes pretty separated.

The biggest downside is this product takes some getting used to. It definitely has a revolutionary wand, which is a sphere-shaped wand with little spikes. I’d say it took me about three to four uses before I started to feel like I was getting the hang of the application. You have to play around and experiment to see what’s the best method to apply it is. I don’t think this separates perfectly, but I also think that the “spikes” on the wand can sometimes clump up with product, so blotting can help. One or two brushes with a lash comb will separate lashes and give you a great finished look, and I find I usually do this step most of the time, since I have a tendency to PILE on the mascara. :)

Bottom Line: For a great lengthening mascara, Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension Mascara is killer. It also gives my lashes a natural curl and keeps it in place all day. I don’t find this mascara smudges or flakes on me, either. My only issue is the blue doesn’t really show up that well on me, though it’s more noticeable in person than in photos. I’d probably just get the Extension Black shade instead, but I really found the formula to work! It’s not the easiest mascara to use and it is a bit pricey, which keeps this product from getting a better overall score.

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: 3/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: For longer lashes, Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension Mascara delivers!

Availability: Sephora.com

See more photosContinue reading →

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Benefit BADgal Liner (Waterproof) ($20.00) is a medium black pencil liner designed to be smudgeproof and waterproof. It’s a follow-up release to the original BADgal liner, which many had trouble getting to really stick on the lash line.

While the newer Waterproof version is longer lasting in comparison to the original formula, it’s not quite waterproof enough. I guess, in that sense, it sort of fails to live up to its name, because I do find that it can be smudged a bit with watery eyes. I think the average person may find this to be long-wearing and smudge and water resistant, but it’s certainly not going to pass the cry test. It’s also not something that lasts well on my waterline (but so little does, and most liners are never touted as waterline safe…).

Personally, it lasts for hours on my lower lash line with little smudging and definitely no creasing or serious migration. My eyes aren’t, though, watery on a regular basis, but I happened to wear this while suffering some seasonal allergies (pollen, dust, and the like) and found it just didn’t hold up well. When it gets hit by tears/water, it has a tendency to smudge a bit. Now, don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t start cascading down your face or anything! It does stay within a tolerable distance from where I originally put it, but for something called Waterproof, I expect just that.

I do like that the liner itself is double-ended; it has the liner on one side and a sponge smudger on the other, so it can really give you a quick and dirty sultry eye on a whim. (Really, just smoking out the lower and upper lash lines can add drama to eyes–even if you don’t wear any eyeshadow!) It’s slim and portable, and the formula itself is very creamy and easy to apply… but I just wish it was truly waterproof — I’d describe it more as a water-resistant formula, so it’s like 80% there.

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

  • Product: 22/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you don’t have watery eyes and like a soft, medium black, BADgal liner (Waterproof) might be a match for you.

Availability: BenefitCosmetics.com

See more photos… Continue reading →