Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Smashbox Naked Beauty Collection

Smashbox Naked Beauty Collection for Summer 2010

A short and sweet collection from Smashbox will arrive in May, just in time for summer. While we’re on the topic of Smashbox, they launched their official blog this week, and they’re having a celebratory giveaway of $500 in Smashbox makeup to boot!

Photo Finish Lid Primer in Golden Nude ($20.00)

Get lids primed and ready for the perfect eye look with Smashbox’s best-selling, ultra-luxurious lid primer—now in a shimmering nude shade. Designed to create a flawless foundation for shadow, Photo Finish Lid Primer delivers color-correcting benefits and imparts a subtle golden glow for an effortless neutral eye. The exclusive formula contains PhytomoistTM, a plant-based hyaluronic acid for essential moisturization and amino acids for skin smoothing benefits. Soft focus pearls help diminish the appearance of fine lines on the lids, while the patented Qusome delivery system ensures all ingredients penetrate the skin to deliver effective results. Silicone Technology leaves lids silky smooth for a longwearing, fade-resistant finish.

Highl Lights/Creamy Cheek Color in Naked Beauty ($26.00)

Give your cheeks a naturally flushed look with this duo of beautifully bare shades. Infused with antioxidant Vitamin E, the cheek color and highlighter moisturize and protect while enhancing cheeks with a luminous glow.

Naked Beauty Lip Gloss Collection ($25.00)

In an array of barely-there shades, this set of eight mini glosses infuses lips with just the right amount of color and shine for a naturally beautiful finish.

  • Included shades: BARE (sandwashed pink), BUFF (sheer soft peach), NAKED (shimmering champagne), NUDE (creamy nude pink), EXPOSED (bubblegum pink), NATURAL (rosebud pink), SUNKISSED (shimmering golden brown), PURE (juicy melon)

Halo Hydrating Perfecting Bronzer ($39.00)

Give skin a barely-there glow with HALO HYDRATING PERFECTING BRONZER, a revolutionary formula designed to impart a naturally naked sun-kissed glow while dramatically minimizing the signs of aging. More than just makeup, the potent powder is an active skin treatment that fights signs of aging below the surface while infusing skin with luminous radiance. Packed with goji berries and pure gold to provide antioxidant protection, the formula contains 48 minerals, 11 amino acids, a powerful peptide and Smashbox’s patented hydrogel technology for sustained release of moisture and a radiant finish.

Availability: Smashbox.com, Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom beginning May 2010

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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Soft Pink Lips for Summer

Chanel Les Pop-Up de Chanel Collection launches a new, but lonesome, shade of glossimer in Bikini Peach (#257). It’s a creamy, milky pink with yellow undertones and a soft, champagne shimmer with a glossy sheen. I can’t remember owning other creamy glossimers, so it’s an interesting shade for me. Despite its creaminess, it doesn’t settle too much into lip lines, and from a normal viewing distance, it just looks like a soft pink lip. I like that there’s enough color that it doesn’t read pasty on my warmer skin tone, as many milky pinks often do. It’s a fun, easy-to-wear shade that can be worn alone or layered over a lipstick, depending on what you’re going for.

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 love a dazzling, moisturizing lip gloss in a milky pink shade, you may like this one. It’s suitable for both cool and warm skin tones, because it is more of a neutral, if slightly warm, pink.

Availability: May 2010

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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Illamasqua Brink Lipstick
Illamasqua Brink Lipstick

The Summer Season: Illamasqua Brink Lipstick

Illamasqua Brink Lipstick ($20.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a brightened, peachy-coral with nearly matte finish–it does have a very subtle glossy sheen (but no shimmer). Because it has a more matte finish, it’s not an overly creamy lipstick–it doesn’t have a lot of slip–but it has enough creaminess to apply evenly, opaquely, and not dry out lips. This is a totally opaque lipstick, which is particularly good for those of you with more pigmented lips and never can find a coral that doesn’t look red on you.

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 →

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Upcoming MAC Collections: Summer 2010

Don’t let MAC overwhelm you! Here’s what you can expect over the next few months from MAC.  It seems like a lot, but I swear it feels much lighter than last year.

In April, MAC will launch Prep for Colour and Pret-a-Papier as well as repromote Mineralize Eye ShadowsPrep for Colour is a collection centered around prepping and priming products with three new eyeshadows and lipglass in terms of colour.   Pret-a-Papier is a full color collection featuring a few repromotes in the launch, but there is one new paint pot (Coral Crepe), as well as a theme of neutrals, corals, and peaches within the collection.  This is the bigger launch for April.

In May, we’ll see the release of Superglass, Chromagraphic Pencils, Nudes, Opulash, and To the Beach.  However, keep in mind that Chromagraphic Pencils and Nudes are only releasing at PRO stores, which means you cannot find these products at counters or freestanding stores.  From my understanding, these PRO only products are permanent, though!  Superglass is a medium coverage, ultra glittery gloss–think Dazzleglass but on steroids.  Opulash is short and sweet featuring a new mascara only available in one shade (black), and if you’re near a Nordstrom, you can grab it on April 22nd.  To the Beach is the biggest launch of May, and I’d go as far as to say it’s the biggest launch of summer, with aqua-green packaging.  It’s a full color collection, and I know a few of you have been saving up for this already!

In June, MAC leaves us feeling pretty empty or else they’re being kind and giving you some time to recover.  Right now, June only shows a roll out of pigments to counters and additional shades to freestanding stores.  Counters do not normally carry pigments, but they will in June.  There are also some previously PRO-only shades that will be available at both counters/freestanding locations.  Keep in mind that some of them may not be eye-safe, so ask before you purchase…

In July, there’s really only three collections to fret over:  In the Groove, Alice + Olivia, and Digi-Pops/Look in a Box aka Nordstrom’s Anniversary Collection.  In the Groove is a full color collection, so there is plenty to choose from here so budget accordingly!  Alice + Olivia is a short and sweet collection with only nine products (but no repromotes!)–three new dazzleglass cremes, three new pigments (!), and three new nail lacquers.  Digi-Pops has three parts, but they’re all part of Nordstrom’s Anniversary Collection, along with Look in a Box.  Those with freestanding stores will find iPalette pretty dull, as it is merely a selection of permanent pan eyeshadows for customers to build their own palettes.

I know it seems heavy, but these are really the main collections: Pret-a-Papier (April 22nd), To the Beach (May 27th), In the Groove (July 8th), and Alice + Olivia (July 8th).  Digi-Pops will roll out new Dazzle lipsticks (supposedly to be released later on to freestanding stores, but I have no confirmation yet), while the rest of Digi-Pops is standard anniversary fare or primarily repromotes/permanent shades, so it’s not as big as you think.  (Oh, and skip the brush sets… buy one or two full-size MAC brushes instead of a set.)

What collection(s) are you looking forward to the most?

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Orange Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Orange Lipstick

The Summer Season: Bobbi Brown Orange Lipstick

Bobbi Brown Orange Lip Color ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant shade of deep orange. This is orange without being neon, flashy, or so unnatural that it looks weird–this is an orange you can wear that looks and feels like an orange, but it’s wearable. It’s a rich, opaque orange with a creamy finish and lightweight feel. It has a subtle glossy sheen and no scent or taste that I could distinguish. Bobbi Brown describes it as a “pumpkin orange,” but I’d say it’s a bit redder than a pumpkin. Nonetheless, count me amongst the surprised, because I never expected such a bold shade to come from Bobbi Brown!

Is this the right orange 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 →

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Zoya Sparkle Collection
Zoya Nail Lacquer: Alegra, Nidhi, Gilda, Ivanka, Charla, Mimi (Natural Light)

Summer Sparkle with Zoya

Zoya Sparkle Collection includes six sparkling shades of lacquer in fun, summery shades. Zoya Polishes are $7 a pop or else you can buy the Sparkle Sampler (includes full sizes of all six) for $36 (save $6!).

After reviewing several of this season’s nail lacquer collections, I might have to say this is my favorite in sum. (I think Chanel’s Nouvelle Vague is my ultimate favorite, but I have a penchant for Tiffany-blue polish, period, so I’d say that was a no-brainer.) I love me some glittering, sparkling polish, and Zoya does not disappoint here.

The glitter used in this feels very fine, more like a micro-glitter, so it has a smoother feel and look–and a huge plus is that it is easier to remove than traditional glitter polish. The polish has a very glassy look once you finish and apply a top coat, and the glitter shimmers across like sparkling water.

I found the formula to be consistent across all six shades, which is mostly a good thing. Despite having a very thin, almost watery feel and consistency, it works well and delivers stunning results. All of the shades required three coats for solid, opaque color, except Nidhi, which only needed two. Nonetheless, I found you could use thinner or thicker coats here–there wasn’t any concerns about application. I could get away with a thinner initial coat and go with medium-thick coats on two and three, or I could do three thin coats. The glitter spreads very evenly, which can sometimes be an issue in glittery lacquers. The drying time seemed faster than usual on these, and even without a top coat, these had quite a bit of gleam.

  • Alegra is a fuchsia-red jelly base with deeper red and fuchsia iridescence. I found I did need three coats in order to get an opaque look, but the glitter applied evenly, so it wasn’t a hassle at all.
  • Nidhi is a darkened squishy fire-orange with gold and red glitter flecks that are most noticeable when light catches them just right. I found this shade to be the most pigmented of the bunch–so pigmented that you only need two thin coats to get a solid color, though I still used three in the swatches.
  • Gilda is a brightened fuchsia-pink with iridescent fuchsia sparkle. I felt like this one almost glowed in the light! This was a three coater for me.
  • Ivanka is a dazzling emerald green with a darker, forest green base and brighter, more emerald-esque shimmer along with gold and green flecks. I thought this one applied and looked the most beautiful out of the six. I felt like you could get away with just two coats here, but I liked three better.
  • Charla is a glassy darkened sky blue with greenish-teal flecks of shimmer in it. Of the six, I found this to be the sheerest, surprisingly. You definitely need three thicker coats on this one. To be honest, though, you can only see a hint of the nail beneath when it’s under very strong light.
  • Mimi is a deep, royal purple with iridescent flecks of purple shimmer. I thought this one was stunning–what I love about it is how fantastic it looks even in low light conditions. It doesn’t turn into a muddy purpled black at all.

These are really some can’t-be-missed polishes for lacquer addicts out there. All six are fantastic in look, feel, and formula. There are absolutely no duds here, and I don’t think you could go wrong with any of them (or all!). Of course, I have my favorites, but they’re more based on my personal taste than anything else. For the curious, my favorites (in order) are: Ivanka, Mimi, Nidhi, and Charla. I liked Alegra and Gilda, but I don’t wear red-based shades so much as brighter shades. But I’m actually going to just wear all of them at once for fun, since I can’t decide! :)

Tell me, are you loving these as much as I am? I hope I’m not the only one swooning!

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love sparkling nails without the chunkiness of real glitter, Zoya’s Sparkle Collection has your number.

Availability: Zoya

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →