Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Bobbi Brown Earth Metal Lip & Eye Palette ($60.00) is a new, limited edition holiday palette from Bobbi Brown’s Holiday Collection, which also features a Velvet Plum Eye Palette, Glitter Lip Balm Palette, and Chrome Eyeshadows (I mentioned those last week–love them!!).

For Eyes

  • Autumn Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow is a slightly green-tinged golden brown with shimmer.
  • Earth Metal Metallic Eyeshadow is a plummy brown with shimmer.
  • Zinc Metallic Eyeshadow is a light taupe brown with kind of a silver sheen. This shade wasn’t quite as pigmented as the others (it was just so-so).
  • Black Spruce Metallic Eyeshadow is a dark forest green with metallic shimmer.
  • Sunset Gold Metallic Eyeshadow is a pale, light melon-y gold with light shimmer. Like Zinc, it wasn’t as pigmented the majority of the eyeshadows.
  • Antique Gold Metallic Eyeshadow is a coppery bronze with a metallic sheen. (It doesn’t look like antique gold to me!)

For Lips

  • Paisely Rose Creamy Lip Color is a pale, peachy pink.
  • Rose Garden Creamy Lip Color is a light medium yellow pink.
  • Rose Bud Creamy Lip Color is a plummy-pink.
  • Barefoot Shimmer Creamy Lip Color is a shimmery peach-brown.

First, as some of you know, I’m not of a fan of lip palettes. As such, I probably wouldn’t purchase this palette, just because I don’t extract any value out of the lip palette portion. I don’t think the eyeshadows are so stunning as to warrant the price tag ($60) by themselves, either. (I’d rather splurge on the Chrome Eyeshadows instead!) The lip colors, as in most lip palettes, are very sheer and don’t do much on my lips. They all kind of look the same, so this isn’t a lip palette designed to change my mind on how I feel about lip palettes in general.

I like the eyeshadows, because they’re definitely my kind of colors – earthy, metallic, and lots of gold thrown in. All of the eyeshadows felt very smooth and had a metallic look to them, and I only found pigmentation problems in two (Zinc and Sunset Gold), but the problems were minor – they just weren’t as pigmented as the majority of the palette, but there was still plenty of color pay off. I think this palette is actually a really good mix of shades that go together easily, and there’s just not much fuss when you use these.

Bottom Line: If you like the lip palette portion, I think this is a great buy. If you’re more like me and have no use for lip palettes, this is more of a skip item. I just can’t get with a palette knowing I’m not going to use half of it and still paying the full price for it, you know? I really wish they made these shades available separately or split the palette in half!

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  I would rather just be able to purchase the eyeshadow portion of the palette as a set over the lip and eye combination.  If you like both sides, I definitely think it’s a good buy in that instance!

Availability: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Saturday, October 24th, 2009


Guerlain Gala Rouge G Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Guerlain Gala Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Gala Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a stunning shade of blue-based red. It’s a vibrant shade of rich ruby red with soft ruby red shimmer and sparkle. It’s creamy, opaque in just one layer, and wears well on my lips (I get about five or six hours of wear). The subtle shimmer is lovely, a nice way to accent a slightly glossy, but very rich red. It should be worn with a lip liner (clear or matching), though, to give lips a more defined and precise look. This is probably one of my favorite shades of Rouge G lipsticks, actually!

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!

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Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Philosophy Holiday Spice and Everything Nice Gift Set ($20.00) includes Holiday Spice and Everything Nice Shower Gel (8 oz.) and Lip Shine (0.5 oz.). It’s just one of the many gift sets available from Philosophy’s Holiday Collection.

Holiday Spice and Everything Nice is kind of a holiday-esque spicy scent blend with a citrus-y feel. I found it definitely had a slight orange-y citrus scent to it, amongst the holiday spice. I can’t really describe what it smells like, except Christmas, to me. Philosophy doesn’t do much better, as they describe this scent as, “a sensational blend of citrus and all your favorite warm holiday spices, created to heighten your holiday experience and give you the warm-fuzzies.”

I found that that the Lip Shine had a stronger scent than the shower gel, and like most Philosophy shower gels, the scent doesn’t linger much further than the bathroom. (This is good for me, since I usually use a scented body lotion or perfume, so I’d rather not deal with how things layer.) Philosophy’s Lip Shines are non-sticky, slightly jelly-esque, and tend to be more shimmer than color. I didn’t notice much taste (more like tasteless) in the product when I licked my lips, though.

This set isn’t really a value set, because you don’t really save any money by buying the two products together, but you don’t spend more to get them together, either. Also, as far as I know, you can only purchase full-sized shower gels, which are $16 for 16 oz., and this is half the size. Since I’m more of a “gotta try ‘em all” person when it comes to Philosophy’s shower gels, I’m more apt to try out their kits. (But then again, I also collect their Lip Shines!)

I do feel like Philosophy keeps their products are a relatively affordable price point when it comes non-mass brands. One bottle of shower gel lasts me months, and I adore the variety of scents they offer.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  It’s not my favorite scent, BUT I think if you like Christmas-y scents, you may like this one.  I love Philosophy shower gels, though, so if the scent is up your alley, I recommend it!

Availability: Nordstrom, Philosophy

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Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Benefit Powderazzi ($30.00 for 3 0.10 oz. powders) is part of Benefit’s holiday offerings, and it features three shades of their popular powders: CORALista, Dallas, and Hoola.

This past summer, I reviewed and adored Benefit’s CORALista powder, which is a soft, pinky-coral with subtle sheen. I loved it then, and I still love it now. It’s particularly flattering on my warm-toned skin, and I’ve always been a big fan of wearing coral. I’m glad they chose to include it in their powder trio this year!

Also featured is Hoola, which is a matte medium dark cocoa brown meant to be used as a bronzer. I rarely wear bronzer, but when I do, I tend to gravitate towards very lightly shimmered or matte shades, like Hoola. Hoola also feels more like a neutral shade, so it’s something that has more universal appeal.

The third shade in this trio is Dallas, which is a plummy color with kind of a dirty feel. It reminded me a bit of MAC’s Marign blush, but more on the plum side. It’s not as shimmery as CORALista, but it definitely has a sheen and shimmer to it. I think this is a great shade for the fall/winter, where darker cheeks always feel more appropriate (to me, at least).

The packaging is typical Benefit — cute print on cardboard packaging. I don’t tote my makeup around very often, so I don’t mind cardboard packaging. Others who often toss products into their bag may find the cardboard will take a beating, though it probably won’t disintegrate or anything–it just won’t look perfect.

As far as size goes, you get 0.3 oz. of product total in this kit, and each full-size Benefit powder goes for $28 for 0.4 oz. You’re paying a little extra to be able to try three shades at once rather than picking up one huge-sized powder. This is a good opportunity to try three shades without having to purchase all three separately. If you find you love any of the three enough that you actually finish it, the full-size is available to you.

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: If you’ve wanted to try out Benefit’s powders in the past but haven’t wanted to fork over the money for each one, this trio may prove a better chance for you to try a variety of colors instead.

Availability: November 2009 at Ulta

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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