Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Chanel Paradoxal Nail Lacquer
Chanel Paradoxal Nail Lacquer

Chanel Paradoxal Stuns

Chanel Paradoxal Nail Lacquer ($23.00) is a stunning shade of grayed plum with red and violet microshimmer.  It applied beautifully–one of the best Chanel lacquers in terms of formula I’ve tried–and only needed two coats for complete opaqueness.   The nuances of this shade are best captured in direct sunlight, but it’s smoky and sultry in indirect/natural lighting, too.   Very, very beautiful and sophisticated.

I’ve always had good luck with Chanel lacquers–no chipping issues for me.  I always use mine with Zoya’s Color Lock System and that seems to keep everything on the up and up for about a week or so.  I know that this is not an affordable nail lacquer, but it’s not supposed to be.  Avid Chanel lacquer collectors won’t be disappointed by the latest shade release, though!

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  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Nail fanatics will likely gravitate towards this shade, because it is such a unique mix of gray, mauve, and plum. It’s not the prettiest nail color of all time, but as Chanel often does–it is different and still pretty.

AVAILABILITY: July 2010

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Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Illamasqua Fume Intense Lipgloss

The Summer Season: Illamasqua Fume Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss Fume ($20.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a juicy, glossy cherry red.  It makes your lips look like perfectly ripened, candy-apple red or luscious, summer-ripened cherries.  Either way, the color and finish is pretty sexy.  It’s bright, but it really is more wearable than you’d think, because it has that gloss texture.  It’s very rich and opaque, and it wears about three to four hours and leaves a residual, persisting stain for a few more.

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Is this the right red 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.

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Friday, July 2nd, 2010

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection
MAC Nail Lacquers: Morning.After., So Rich So Pretty, Military

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection: Nail Lacquers

Alice + Olivia included three new and limited edition nail lacquers.  I wanted to fall in love with these, but I just wasn’t blown away. Morning.After. was my favorite of the three, because of the way it seems to take on a different tone depending on the lighting, but it’s not as opaque as I’d like. Military reminds me of every other black + silver matte polish out there–I guess I’m just over that shade!

Nail Lacquer ($12.00 U.S. / $14.50 CDN)

  • So Rich So Pretty is a fuchsia-purple with red undertones and red and purple microshimmer. I found it needed three coats to be opaque, and the formula was on the thinner side (though it didn’t feel runny).
  • Military is a light black with silver sparkles and a matte finish. It’s like a blacker version of Studded. It dries really fast, as many mattes do, and it was incredibly pigmented–you could almost get away with just one coat.
  • Morning.After. is a pain in the butt to photograph, because it looks bluer in natural light and tealer in more direct light. It’s more of a dusty blue-teal with heavier blue tones than green/teal tones. There is a little bit of visible nail even with three coats, though.

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Friday, July 2nd, 2010

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection
Pigments: Partylicious, If it Sparkles…, Later.

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection: Pigments

Pigment fiends–I don’t know if I’d pass on these new shades from Alice + Olivia. They have excellent textures, and both Partylicious and Later are beautiful.  If It Sparkles would be the only one I’d think about skipping, since it’s less unique.

Pigment ($19.50 U.S. / $23.50 CDN)

  • Later. needs moisture to look amazing.  Do not just swatch it dry and forget about it, because you’re really not giving it a chance then.  When applied wet, it’s a blackened-gray base with flashes of violet and deep blue-purple shimmer and sheen.  About a million times prettier wet than dry.
  • If It Sparkles… is an iridescent icy pink with a frosty finish.  It reminded me of a smoother–but frostier–version of Pink Opal, actually.
  • Partylicious is an aqua-teal with flashes of pearly green and green-teal.  This is ridiculously lovely.  If you’re even remotely a fan of aqua/teal, this is a total must-have.  Like don’t let this one pass you by!  It almost feels like a duochrome.  At first, I thought it was similar to Parrot–except it’s greener, lighter, and tealer.  It’s not nearly as blue as Parrot.  It is GORGEOUS!

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Friday, July 2nd, 2010

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection
Dazzleglass Creme: I.Want.Candy., Sparklicious, If It’s Pink…

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection: Dazzleglass Creme

Three new and limited edition dazzleglass cremes launch on July 8th with the Alice + Olivia collection.  My favorite was If It’s Pink, just because it’s the most wearable on its own, but it would lovely over pinks, corals, and nudes.  I.Want.Candy. is fun, but it’ll take some playing around to find the right combos to use it with.  I would also say that it is a lot more colored than Springbean, which is also a chartreuse-y shade.  Sparklicious is another shade that’s better layered than alone (but more wearable on its own than I.Want.Candy.)

Edited @ 4:10PM:  Added lip swatches & review! :)

Dazzleglass Creme ($18.00 U.S. / $21.50 CDN)

  • I.Want.Candy. is a semi-sheer yellowed chartreuse green with green-gold shimmer. It does, actually, impart significant color, given both that it’s green (even though a brand may put an unusual shade out, they often mute it) and a gloss. I don’t find it particularly wearable alone, but perhaps over pinks or corals. Because of the yellowness in the shade, it will pull the yellow tones in your teeth.
  • Sparklicious is a sheer silver and pink shimmered shade. It almost has a milky white-pink base, but it’s hardly noticeable. It’s super sparkly, so it lives up to its name. It kind of reminded me of She Loves Candy Lipglass from Hello Kitty.
  • If It’s Pink… is a semi-sheer brightened fuchsia pink with softer pink shimmer. It delivers plenty of color without being full-on color.

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Friday, July 2nd, 2010

MAC In the Groove Collection
MAC In the Groove Collection

Sneak Preview: In the Groove Collection

Time’s up — will post everything else as soon as I can! This is not the full collection — I’ll be buying the rest when it launches in-store on Thursday, July 8th.