Tarte Green Siren Natural Cheek Stain ($30.00) is a semi-sheer peachy-bronze with golden shimmer and a slight frosty sheen. Tarte really knows how to do an effortless cheek, because their cheek stains are always above the bar. Their latest shade, Green Siren, in the Natural Beauty Cheek Stain product line, for fall, is gorgeous. It is particularly flattering on those with neutral or warm tones, though it the shade isn’t overly warm, so it is still pretty and suitable for cooler skin tones.
When applied, cheeks look naturally glowy and look luminous without being too frosty or glittery. The product feels smooth and creamy and applies easily to cheeks without leaving behind any harsh lines. It can be easily blended out with a stippling brush like the 188. My only issue with the product was the packaging/applicator, because when you push the gel blush up, and then apply it directly from the tube, the blush gets pushed back into the tube. It was a bit annoying, and I think it’s something that could be fixed.
Ease of Use: 7/10
Recommendation: This is a great shade to transition from summer to fall as we start to countdown the days of summer. It’s natural and beautiful, and it is hard to over-do.
Dolce & Gabbana Makeup The Classic Lipstick in Iconic
Dolce & Gabbana Makeup: Classic Red
Dolce & Gabbana Iconic Classic Cream Lipstick ($30.00) is an opaque, creamy bright classic red. The name “Iconic” is incredibly well-suited to this particular shade of red. The formula is long-wearing, moisturizing, and feels great on lips. I love the intense color pay off, and the glossy sheen it gives off without actually being glossy or shimmery. Overall, I loved the formula and color itself–though this particular shade is not for the color-shy! The gold packaging is luxe and weight-y, though it does hold fingerprints (which is something I dislike, personally!).
Ease of Use: 8/10
Recommendation: If you love luxury lip products, Dolce & Gabbana’s Classic Lipstick will not disappoint you. This is not a lipstick for everyone, because the price makes it an indulgence. I do wish it was more available, but at least it is available online at Saks.
Tarte Femme Fatale Eye Palette ($44.00) is one of two palettes from Tarte’s Fall 2009 Collection. It’s a refillable eyeshadow palette that contains ten different eyeshadows. The top row contains: shimmering blush, iridescent smoke, shimmering violet, shimmering indigo, shimmering onyx; the bottom row contains: shimmering light gold, shimmering copper-rose, shimmering deep bronze, shimmering jade, shimmering garnet. It also includes a double-ended eyeliner and double-ended brush.
Now, I’m going to give you my take on the top row’s shades: a soft, buttery semi-matte pale dusty pink; a frosty, icy silver with pink pearl; a deep red-tone purple with magenta; a dark navy blue with gray; and a gray-black with light sheen. The second row’s shades: a soft, semi-sheer peach with a buttery feel; a peach-toned copper with a frost finish; a warm-toned golden caramel brown; a muted teal with gray-blue; and a rich, deeply pigmented burgundy-black with purple flecks.
I found all ten shades to have a soft, smooth texture and all of them had decent to great pigmentation. The only two that has slightly less pigmentation were the first shades in each of the rows–which I’d attribute more to them being softer shades overall, and thus just not appearing as pigmented as the other eight shades. It’s an interesting mix of colors, and I can definitely see several combinations just jump out at me, which is something in its favor.
It’s actually a very value-heavy palette, because each shadow is 1.75g/0.06 oz.–which is more than a single, standalone MAC eyeshadow (which is 1.5g/0.06 oz.)! If it’s cheaper than MAC, it’s pretty much going to be a better deal than most other high-end brands, too. It’s actually great to see a palette that gives you plenty of product while pricing it right.
Ease of Use: 8/10
Recommendation: Palette lovers, rejoice! Value, pigmentation, and usability combine to make this a very worthwhile palette. I personally didn’t love the packaging, but it’s such a minor point when what’s inside is so good!
Philosophy When Hope is Not Enough Hydrating Body Scrub ($30.00 for 8 oz.) is a gentle, mild exfoliator for body that’s easily used in the shower. Though many of us can use coarser scrubs like sea salt, some people find those too harsh either from personal preference or their skin just doesn’t take kindly to it. Enter Philosophy’s When Hope is Not Enough Hydrating Body Scrub! (They really need an acronym for this — WHNE, anyone?)
While I liked the Body Lotion from this line, I love the scrub much more. The major reason is the scrub holds a lot more value than the lotion, which I felt I’d run through too quickly to merit the price tag ($35). The scrub will last me anywhere from four to six months, easily, using it two to three times a week.
This scrub has gritty but tiny scrubbing particles that help exfoliate your skin without irritating it or over-exfoliating. I’d call it more of a body polish than a scrub, actually, based on the scrub’s texture.
Ease of Use: 8/10
Recommendation: If you’re into body polishes instead of coarser, grittier body scrubs, check this one out!
Launching on September 10th, MAC’s In High Def Collection (see full collection details here) contains several hand-picked products from the existing line as well as some new products that are designed to work well in the high definition environment. There are four new shades of lipstick: Close to Real, High Def, Resolutely Red, and Sharp Focus.
Lipstick ($14.00 U.S. / $16.50 CDN)
Close to Real is a pale, frosty peach. Despite having a lustre finish, it doesn’t feel like one to me. It feels much more like a frost lipstick, and it definitely looks like it on the lips. I found this one to seem to grab onto every imperfection on your lips–even after I had exfoliated–it just didn’t look very flattering. The color is really pale, so I’d vote on using this more as a layering shade than standalone.
High Def is a creamy, opaque pinky-coral color. It has a slight sheen, but it doesn’t contain any shimmer. On my lips, it doesn’t read very much coral (unfortunately, as MAC lacks corals!), but it’s still pretty. It looks more like my-lips-but-better with a bit more pinky-brown.
Resolutely Red is a mostly opaque, lightly creamy shade of reddish-wine. It’s not super bold or bright, so it’s more of a wearable red. It’s not too cool or warm, either, which I definitely like. It has a glossy look to it when applied.
Of the three I tried, none of them really jumped out at me as must-haves. High Def and Resolutely Red are flattering shades, while Close to Real may be more difficult for some to pull off (it is for me, at least!).
Ease of Use: 8/10
Recommendation: If you’re a fan of lustre finishes but have always wanted a bit more color… you might like these, because they pack a lot more pigmentation than your average lustre!