Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Chanel Holiday 2009 Collection
Chanel Bird of Paradise Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Bird of Paradise Eyeshadow Quad ($56.00) is a new, limited edition, colorful palette that’s part of Chanel’s Holiday Collection. It includes four pops of color, which is a surprising twist on what we typically expect from holiday launches. Genius, perhaps? We’ll see…

The shades included in the palette are:

A paled down blue-teal with green-teal shimmer. I love the mix of a blue-teal colored base with green-teal shimmer. The color is muted without being boring; it still packs a punch of color, but it’s not over the top. It’s kind of what I’d expect from a teal by Chanel. It’s pigmented, silky soft, and blends easily.

A warm pop of goldenrod yellow-gold. This is an interesting color, because I think on cooler tones, the yellow is going to come out to play more, whilst on warmer tones, you’re going to get more of a warmer, golden shade. Also, I noticed that it seemed to warm up and cool done depending on the lighting situation (less light = more yellow; brighter light = more golden). This one wasn’t quite as pigmented or smooth as the other three shades, but it was still soft and the shimmer wasn’t too gritty. I really love the shade itself, though, because it’s not a true gold, yet it’s not orange or yellow.

A muted coppery-orange with golden shimmer and sheen. Orange can be a tough color to pull off, particularly for those who naturally have cooler complexions (because many oranges run very warm), so I know some just skip this color altogether. This is a great shade of orange that runs neutral-warm, which means it has some warmth, but it’s not overly so. It’s also not a straight copper. I love how the golden sheen catches light.

A soft olive green with golden olive shimmer. A lovely shade that actually reminds me more of fall than it does winter, but nevertheless, still nice. Pigmentation is true and the shade itself feels smooth to the touch and goes on like butter.

I’m really digging Chanel’s take on holiday this year. The colors are fun and playful, but they’re not hard to wear or even pair together (I was a little weary at first – so much color, could they work together? but alas, they can!). The only shade it’s really missing is a highlight shade, so you will have to tap into your stash to get that, but at least you get four rockin’ colors in it. Each has a metallic shimmer sheen, and I think that’s exactly what the holiday season is about–lots of glitz and glam!

This eyeshadow quad is eons better than Chanel’s Les Folie Noirs Eyeshadow Quad — so I am quite pleased. I was a bit hesitant that this one might not do it for me, but it worked out, thankfully!

As far as value goes, I do believe Chanel quads are around 0.24 oz. (I have some that say 0.24 oz., others that don’t say, and the recent Noirs Obscurs quad was 0.21 oz.), so they’re not a bad deal by the ounce (less than MAC eyeshadows). With colors like these, you may find yourself slower to get through each shade as well, so I think you’ll get plenty of usage out of the palette.

Bottom line: This is a nice palette with quality eyeshadows that give you color to play around with, but it’s not intimidating. It’s inviting, and I think it’s a good mix of colors that can also work together, not just by themselves. It’s also not overly warm or cool on the whole, so it’s more universal. I really like it, overall, but I’m not head-over-heels for it like I am over their Rouge Allure Laques.

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

Recommendation: For a downplayed approach to color, Chanel’s Bird of Paradise eyeshadow quad is stop that might be worth your while.

Availability: Chanel in October/November 2009

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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

LUSH Holiday 2009

LUSH for Halloween 2009

Ohh… Halloween fun!

Pumpkin Soap ($5.95)

A spicy Jack-o’-Lantern-shaped soap, made with a blend of sweet orange juice, pumpkin puree, cinnamon powder and clove bud oil to warm you up after those tireless rounds of trick-or-treating. Stand out from your neighbors and offer trick-or-treaters a break from the Kit Kats, Tootsie Pops and Candy Corn with a Pumpkin Soap instead!

Jacko Bath Bomb ($4.95)

Jacko is a spicy concoction of cinnamon powder, ground chili and cayenne pepper to warm you up on those chilly fall nights. Fresh ginger root and cardamom oil have a warming effect on tired, sore muscles as well as the emotions, in case you’re feeling a bit eerie with the season.

Ghost Shower Gel ($16.95)

This shower gel is to die for – it contains a blend of soothing rose water, ylang ylang, jasmine, and bewitching neroli that will uplift your spirit and make showering a real out-of-this-world experience.

Cobweb Bath Bomb ($5.95)

This is a dark and mysterious cobweb-shaped bath bomb that’s shot through with silver luster – a spooky revelation for anybody in a black mood. Drop it in the tub and the water magically turns into a dark, swirling, twinkling mass, reminiscent of the Halloween night sky. Beautiful lavender is blended with calming chamomile and balancing frankincense and myrrh to create a truly bewitching bath-hour!

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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

LUSH Holiday 2009

LUSH for Holiday 2009

LUSH may easily surpass even holiday giant MAC Cosmetics in most items released for the holiday season… Everything is now available at LUSH Cosmetics.

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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

NARS Holiday 2009 Collection

Here’s a peek at what NARS has in store for you this holiday season…

Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00)

  • Goddess Pale champagne
  • Aigle Noir Smoky green
  • Skorpios Copper

Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00)

  • Brousse Subdued purple / bronze
  • Eurydice Eggplant / Dusty gray
  • Taiga Pale yellow / Olive green

Cream Eyeshadow ($21.00)

  • Mousson Dirty green-gold

Nail Polish ($16.00)

  • Rough Andalou Holiday red

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00)

  • Pop Life Deepened red
  • Toudra Deep wine red

Multiple ($37.00)

  • Luxor Pale icy pink

Availability: October/November 2009

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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Fusion Beauty Infatuation

Fusion Beauty LipFusion Infatuation ($29.00 for 0.19 oz.) is supposed to be a liquid lip color that also plumps up lips with Fusion Beauty’s Amplifat™ technology.

In the past, Fusion’s LipFusion has always been my go-to if I ever want a lip plumper, just because I found their original LipFusion line to be incredibly non-irritating — no burning, stinging, tingling, or in other words, pain, when using it. I tried DuWop Lip Venom, and I thought my lips were going to fall off! I’m personally not into lip plumpers myself, because I do like my natural lip size (and sometimes feel they’re too big!), so I don’t often seek out anything that’ll fatten them up.

What Fusion Beauty says are key ingredients…

  • Amplifat™: concentrate (derived from a perennial sea fern) works with the skin’s own triggers to help naturally increase two key proteins that occur naturally in the skin (ADFP and FABP5). These two key proteins help induce diffusion and storage of fatty acids.
  • Lip Vantage: is a dual-encapsulated plumping and highly hydrating ingredient that delivers incredible moisture and promotes lip renewal for more youthful looking lips
  • Peptides: enhance collagen synthesis for naturally enhanced, lush, youthful, healthy lips.

But naturally, I was curious about Fusion Beauty’s new Infatuation line-up, and I’m all about more color in a lipgloss! I tried three shades…

  • In the Flesh is a semi-opaque darkened peach with light pink-peach shimmer and lots of glossy shine.
  • Sugar Rush looks like a light peachy-pink when I swatched it, but on my lips, it looks much more like a sheer milky pink with silver-pink shimmer.
  • Pucker Up is a semi-opaque medium pink with a little bit of brightness, but I wouldn’t call it a full-on hot pink. I felt like this one had the least amount of noticeable shimmer and looked more like a creamy gloss (but it did seem to have a touch of shimmer).

None of the three shades I tried really grabbed me by color. They didn’t apply too evenly on their own, and the color had a tendency to settle into lip lines. If you layer it over a lipstick, you’ll get a more even application, but then you’ll lose a lot of the lip plumping effect (since it’s no longer directly on your lips), so it’s kind of a wash. The gloss smells like grapefruit to me, but at the very least, it has a slightly sweet scent with a kick.

The tingling action was so-so — it felt like a bit more than LipFusion, but it was still something I could endure (and I have a low threshold for tingling on my lips). The result was just slightly bigger lips, but the effect could have easily been from how glossy the formula was rather than any actual fattening on a more scientific level. The gloss itself was thick enough that it felt like a creamy lip gloss, but it was still non-sticky. The wear time felt a little less than average, as it seemed to fade and wear off after just two or three hours when I tested it out.

This lip plumping gloss goes for about $152.63/oz. as compared to Fusion Beauty’s Color Shine (which contains 0.29 oz.) at $131.03/oz. — but each Color Shine retails for $38, which is a bit of a steep investment to make into a single lip product. $29 puts it around the level of Chanel, Dior, and Guerlain lip glosses but with a plumping effect.

Bottom line: As a gloss, not overly impressive, and there are numerous other high-end glosses at $29 a pop I’d opt for over these (Chanel Glossimers and Guerlain KissKiss Gloss, just to name two). As a lip plumper, it makes lips look fuller, but it’s not enough plumping for me to shell out $29 to get it. I think, as well, since the gloss itself isn’t outstanding, I’d rather go for their clear formula and use another gloss for color.

  • Product: 20/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  For those who prefer a lip plumper that doesn’t pain them, LipFusion might work out for you.  These glosses are more pigmented than their Color Shine formula, but your mileage will vary by the shade.

Availability: Sephora

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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Guerlain Imperiale Holiday Collection / Meteorites

Guerlain Meteorites Perles Impériales ($53.00 for 1.2 oz.) is the latest limited edition shade of Guerlain’s famous Meteorites from their holiday collection, slated for release this October.

Perles Imperiales is a soft, icy cool-toned pink highlighter with silvery-pink shimmer. I’m not sure if it’s possible to use this as a blush, as it’s really quite sheer and soft on me, so I do think the best way to use these is as a highlighter/luminizer. The pearls themselves are a mix of medium pink, pale lilac, peach, and burnt peach. What separates Guerlain’s Meteorites from other highlighters is how subtle and fine the shimmer is. It’s just a very silky, smooth highlighter that works well on a variety of skin types. It doesn’t make you look like a disco ball, but it still gives you noticeable “glow.” This is something you can subtly apply all over the face or just strategically to highlight certain areas (e.g. cheeks), which I like.

Guerlain describes Perles Imperiales as, “Easy to apply and almost magical, these famous multiple-effect pearls are as luminous as imperial silk and come in three formats – mini, medium and maxi – in order to optimize their evening-out and corrective action. They are also reinvented in three new shades intended to create a fresh, sublime complexion. Mauve and white illuminators, with pink for freshness and gold for light, brighten and smooth the skin to a sleek satin perfection. The famous Météorites compact features an opulent pouch in shiny black fabric, decorated with light-infused silver and rhinestones.”

The packaging for this limited edition shade is gorgeous. It’s in the same traditional cardboard packaging as the rest of the Meteorites, but the outside is solid black with black rhinestones/sparkles all around the side and then a smattering of silver rhinestones/sparkles on the top. I love how this packaging looks, because I do find the Meteorites packaging, in general, to be a little cheap for Guerlain (since it’s out of cardboard), but they really classed it up with the sequin-like look of Perles Imperiales. I do prefer using a brush like the 165 or 187 by MAC with the Meteorites for best application.

I know some feel Meteorites are pricey, but you always have to look at the volume you get for your buck, too. This is one of the least expensive high-end highlighters, believe it or not! This is priced at just $44.17/oz. compared to my all-time favorite Dior Skin Shimmers, which are $122.86/oz. — nearly three times the price per ounce. I imagine one box of Meteorites will last you quite awhile. There is also something to be said about the design itself–beautiful, colored pearls of powder.

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

Recommendation: If you like subtle highlighters, fine shimmer, and luxe products, you might want to check out Guerlain’s Perles Imperiales when you can!

Availability: October 2009

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