Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Benefit Candy Store Lipstick

The Spring Season: Benefit Candy Store Lipstick

Benefit Candy Store Lipstick ($18.00) is a semi-sheer medium pink with golden shimmer and a glossy sheen. On my lips, it really deepens and emphasizes the natural rosy-pink of my lip color while adding golden shimmer and a reflective, glossy sheen. Benefit’s Silky Finish Lipsticks have this really moisturizing, glossy feel. It’s almost like lipstick and lipgloss had a baby and called it Silky Finish. It’s very wearable all on its own, partially because it does have such a nice sheen without having to add a gloss (which also makes it convenient to keep in your bag!).

Is this the right pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Smashbox Paradise Blush

The First Blush of Spring:  Smashbox Paradise Blush Rush

Smashbox Paradise Blush Rush ($24.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a lightly golden shimmered peach with just a smidgen of pink in it. It’s more like an orange-coral, perhaps, but the pink really is downplayed. Paradise isn’t the most unique shade, but Smashbox’s Blush Rush formula is particularly lovely. It’s smooth, soft to the touch, and applies beautifully to cheeks. The color always look natural and never overdone, but they offer buildable color for those who want a light cheek and others who want a more intense look. Paradise is just one of those shades that’s incredibly easy to wear with a variety of looks from the everyday to the bold and dramatic. If you like blushes like MAC Springsheen and NARS Orgasm, Paradise is right there with ‘em!

I’ve always liked Smashbox’s permanent product packaging — it’s functional and sleek.  Cute packaging is fun, but it’s gotta be functional, too.  It just has a very clean look to it, which I dig.  Price-wise, it’s a little more expensive than your average blush at $184/oz. (compared to MAC blushes at $88/oz. and NARS blushes at $156/oz.), but actual investment is in line with NARS ($25) and Illamasqua ($23).

You can see me wearing Paradise in this look! :)

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: If you love your peachy blushes, Paradise may be a good one to add to your stash!

Availability: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

NARS Purple Rain Nail Lacquer

Stunning Spring Nails with  NARS Purple Rain Nail Lacquer

NARS Purple Rain Nail Lacquer ($16.00) is a deep jewel-toned purple with red undertones shimmered with flecks of violet and wine red shimmer. It looks kind of like a dark grape purple when there’s no real light, but I like that it doesn’t look black in low light conditions. Of course, like many polishes, this one really shows off best in the light. Even just regular lighting will catch the shimmer in such a lovely way. This is a richly pigmented nail lacquer; it needs only one thick coat and it goes opaque, though I did two coats for good measure. It wears well (one week with just tip wear, no chipping), and it applies easily–doesn’t streak or drag. The formula is thick without being goopy, so it doesn’t require any experimentation in application–it’s just apply, dry, and enjoy!

I was surprised by how much I liked this shade, even though it doesn’t conjure up any spring images in my mind, I’m really glad NARS put it out, spring season or not!

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 purple nails, Purple Rain is really one of those must-see shades!

Availability: BlueMercury

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Guerlain Beige Mousseline Lipstick
Guerlain Beige Mousseline Kiss Kiss Strass Lipstick

The Spring Season: Guerlain Beige Mousseline Kiss Kiss Strass Lipstick

Guerlain Beige Mousseline Kiss Kiss Strass Lipstick ($31.00) is a new-for-spring shade of nude beige with golden peach sparkle. The press sheet for Kiss Kiss Strass reads like a fantasy–Guerlain has some of the best writers for their collections, I swear.  I feel like I’m ready a fantasy novel!  But basically, Kiss Kiss Strass is an ultra shimmreing, glittering lipstick with a soft texture and moisturizing feel.  Guerlain says that the sparkling is owed to “the inset of purse crystal beads to intensify and multiply the interplays of mother-of-pearl and colours” (see, the stuff of fantasy!).

Now, with all that fancy talk, does Guerlain deliver?  I’m a big fan of Guerlain lip products–they really do a fantastic job with their lip line.  (I am also a Guerlain blush/highlighter fiend!)  Kiss Kiss Strass does have this really shimmery, glittering-water type of effect on lips and doesn’t feel chunky despite all that shimmer.  The pigmentation is decent (you can’t see my birthmark on my lip much), but it really just depends on the shade–some shades run more pigmented than others; I wouldn’t say universally this is a pigmented or sheer line.  It is smooth, soft, and doesn’t suck the moisture from your lips.  It is very comfortable to wear, and it’s priced just around their regular Kiss Kiss line (where each retails for $30, but I’m unsure whether there may be a future price increase to match with Kiss Kiss Strass at $31).

This is a good, subtle beige with sparkling pop.  I can see myself wearing this lipstick alone, because it has that glossy sheen and lots of shimmering reflection, so it doesn’t need a gloss necessarily.  Of course, I am a sucker for lip combinations, too, so can’t say that would stop me from going for it anyway!

Is this the right pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

MAC Cosmetics Spring Colour Forecast
MAC Lipsticks: Rose Maiden, Fresh Salmon, Victorian, Colour Me Coral

MAC Spring Colour Forecast: Lipsticks Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

And I bring you part two… and the LAST of all of Spring Colour Forecast reviews.  Now, I’m going to go pass out.  Or something!

Spring Colour 2 Forecast — Lipsticks

  • Rose Maiden is a brightened up red-berry with a frosty finish and sheen. It applies nearly opaque on lips.
  • Fresh Salmon is a medium salmon pink with a golden shimmer and lustre finish. When applied, the golden sheen is really apparent.
  • Victorian is a bright pop of cool-toned pink with a golden sheen. It kind of reminded me of my new favorite pink, Guerlain Giulette, but it’s much cooler. When applied, this goes on mostly opaque and almost looks and feels creamy.
  • Colour Me Coral is a light coral with some beige in it and a frost finish. With its frost finish, it does have a tendency to look too frosty on lips, but with a creamy gloss–say Ember Glow–I think it’ll be just fine.

Spring Colour 4 Forecast — Lipsticks

  • Beigeland is a semi-sheer, shimmery pink-beige with almost a metallic sheen. It’s a frost finish, and I think it applies a bit unevenly alone, so it’s something that needs to be used with a lip brush or else finished with a gloss.
  • Bronzilla is a reddened bronze with a very metallic sheen. Like Beigeland, it’s also a frost finish lipstick, but it reads more metallic. I found it applied better than Beigeland for evenness, but I’d personally layer a gloss on top to make it really pop and work in a look.

See product photos and swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

MAC Cosmetics Spring Colour Forecast
MAC Lipsticks: Pink Burst, Phlox, Laugh-a-lot, Bubble Gum

MAC Spring Colour Forecast: Lipsticks Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

If you thought there were a lot of lipglasses in this launch, prepare yourself… NOW! There are more lipsticks! Parts one and two have four each; parts three and four have two each–bringing us a whopping twelve lipsticks. Did I say twelve? *faints*  My favorites: Laugh-a-lot, Bubblegum.  What are your favorites?

Spring Colour 1 Forecast — Lipsticks

  • Pink Burst is a fuchsia pink with a blue-base and softer fuchsia shimmer. It’s actually quite similar to La La Eyeshadow. I’d say it’s also a much tamer version of Show Orchid (PRO shade). Think Hollywood Nights or Girl About Town with fuchsia shimmer.
  • Phlox looks so heavenly in the tube, but I couldn’t get it to show up nearly as well on my skin, let alone my lips. It has a glaze finish, so I did expect it to be on the sheerer side, but this was a little ridiculous. When applied, Phlox does have this fun cool-toned glitter/shimmer that reflects blue, violet, and fuchsia… but it looks like a sheer gloss on me–no color base at all.
  • Laugh-a-lot is like a plummy pink with a pale gold sheen. It is semi-sheer and is a lustre finish lipstick. This applies so well, actually! It gives me decent coverage (though not totally opaque, to be sure), with a glossy sheen. For me, I think it deepened my lips rosiness and pink while giving it a plummy feel.
  • Bubble Gum is a medium pink with a lilac tone to it and gold shimmer. It’s a glaze finish, so the color is so-so when applied–decent pigmentation but takes some patience to make it look even. Those with lighter natural lips will get a nice pinky lip with gold shimmer, while those with darker lips may find it semi-sheer. I think this is a shade that’s going to look different from person to person, because I barely caught the purple-ness in the shade until I applied it to my lips–and then it was like, “Whoa!”

Spring Colour 3 Forecast — Lipsticks

  • Hang-up is a vibrant, dark berry red with a slightly glossy sheen and creamy opaque color. This is a permanent shade–part of the Cremesheen family.  You can see my original review here.
  • Radicchio is a sheer pinky-plum with a shimmer sheen. It’s a lustre finish lipstick, but it did give me a surprisingly amount of color. It really is more of a my-lips-but-better kind of color; on me, it’s like a soft, sheered out plum tint on my slightly pinker lips.  Looks natural but not something I’d have to say is a must-have.

See product photos and swatches! Continue reading →