Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

The Best Dior Products

The Best of the Best:  Dior

Dior excels at creating (even when you thought you had it covered) staples that you’ll use time and time again. Many of my favorite products to use on a daily basis are dior. Dior can be colorful and bright, but they’re more often subtle and natural–not boring, mind you.

  • Dior Diorskin Shimmer Stars ($43.00) are quite possibly my favorite product by Dior, period. These are subtle highlighters that work well on all skin tones and give that “glowy” appearance without overloading the skin with shimmer. They’re natural and bring out the skin’s own glow. Really, really phenomenal. You can just see how many looks I’ve done with Amber Diamond and Rose Diamond alone.
  • Dior Addict 1.7 oz Eau de Parfum Spray ($72.00) was one of my first fragrances, and it is still one of my more coveted scents. It is a heady scent that works extremely well for evening and formal occasions.
  • Dior Diorskin Nude ($45.00) is a water-based, lightweight light-to-medium coverage foundation that gives skin a flawless and healthy look. You can read my full review for even more reasons why it rocks my world.
  • Dior ‘One Color Extreme’ Eyeshadow ($27.50) are highly pigmented single doses of eyeshadow. Dior is actually coming out with several new shades this fall/winter, so look for them! For now, you can check out the two that came out with the fall collection.
  • Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss Reflect ($25.50) are non-sticky, hydrating lipglosses with a beautiful glossy finish. They come in a variety of shades, and they’re one of Dior’s signature products.
  • Dior 2-Colour Eyeshadow ($35.00) are richly pigmented eyeshadow duos. They’re not quite at the level of the Extreme eyeshadows, but they’re coordinated shades that are worth the investment if it’s in your budget.
  • Dior Bronze Harmony Blush ($42.00) is on the level of Skin Shimmers. Soft, subtle color that looks natural and truly enhances the skin in a way that’s beautiful. Check out my review for Rose Brazilia and Coral Riviera.

What are your favorite Dior products?

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Barbie Loves Stila has officially launched on Stila’s website!

You can now purchase the new Smudge Pots, Eyeshadow Palette, Liquid Liner, and Lip Glazes! You can get free shipping with any Barbie Loves Stila purchase with the code BARBIE, which is good through September 5th, 2009.

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Bobbi Brown Metallic Long Wear Cream Eyeshadows
Bobbi Brown Chrome Patina, Goldstone, Starry Night Metallic Long Wear Cream Eyeshadows

Bobbi Brown Metallic Long Wear Cream Eyeshadows: Chrome Patina, Goldstone, Starry Night

Bobbi Brown Metallic Long-Wearing Cream Eyeshadow ($22.00 for .12 oz.) is a new product launched this September from Bobbi Brown. They’re inspired by and yet a bit of a departure from her classic Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadows. They seem to be the same on the surface, but when I played with three of them, I found them to be a bit different.

“With these shadows there’s no need to choose function over style. They’re longwearing and come in the most glamorous, eye-catching shades ever.” – Bobbi Brown

The Metallic Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow is available in eight shades:

  • Antique Gold A deep gold sparkle
  • Black Pearl A medium purple
  • Brown Metal A warm brown sparkle
  • Chrome Patina A golden pewter
  • Goldstone A gold sparkle
  • Mercury A silver sparkle
  • Starry Night A navy blue sparkle
  • Starry Purple A deep purple sparkle

I tried three: Chrome Patina, Goldstone, and Starry Purple. Chrome Patina is a sheer, glittery wash of pewter with gold sparkle. Goldstone is a semi-opaque toned-down gold with a brown cast and brighter gold sparkle. Starry Night is a sheer, glittery navy blue concotion with almost multicolored sparkle.

I’m actually surprised by Bobbi Brown’s introduction of these glittery shadows to her line-up, just because they’re a bit over the top with how glittery they are. I do, however, think they’re fun and will definitely wear them myself, but I can see some avoiding these because the glitter finish feels inappropriate or accentuates signs of aging on the eyes (as frosts and glitters often do).

Sheer or opaque?

It seems like your mileage will vary from shade to shade, because Goldstone had the best finish and pigmentation, going on nearly opaque, while both Chrome Patina and Starry Night were sheerer and therefore the look glitter was emphasized (instead of a more metalized look). I do wish they were more pigmented so they had a much smoother look and were more the metallic finish they’re touted to be than glitter. (I would personally call these Glitter Long-Wearing Eyeshadows from my experience so far.)

How well do they wear?

They wear very well, just like the original Cream Eyeshadows. They are long-wearing and hold up throughout day without smudging, fading, or creasing. I actually wasn’t sure if they would work out, because they feel very wet when you initially apply them, but they do dry down completely and aren’t subject to creasing (even when worn alone). I found it a bit difficult to blend cream shadows on top of this color or with it once it was dry, so you do have to work quickly if you are trying to use cream shadows together. If you just want to layer on powder shadows over the glittery base, there’s no need to be concerned over timing.

Wait — you can wear these as liner, too!

If you aren’t so much a fan of glitter eyeshadow, there is one alternative usage that I actually may find myself using these more for than as shadows — eyeliner!  I think these are excellent to layer over (or for some, worn alone — again, depends on how sheer the shade is) say a fiercely intense black liner for an extra kick.  Ohh!  I’m getting excited just thinking about experimenting now…

Are they worth the price tag?

As far as value goes, Bobbi Brown provides enough product in each pot to make it about as much and priced as I’d expect for the Bobbi Brown product range. Benefit cream eyeshadows are slightly cheaper ($19.00 for .16 oz.), while these are more affordable than NARS cream eyeshadows ($21.00 for 0.1 oz.) and less of an investment as shu uemura’s ($30.00 for .17 oz.). Despite the pot feeling and looking small (reminded me of gel liner sizes), it does hold more product than it seems. The packaging is classic Bobbi Brown: clear, glass with a black screw-on lid. It’s hefty, but I don’t mind — I like seeing non-plastic packaging.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you love shimmering glitter, you might love these to layer underneath your eyeshadows or as a quick wash of color (at least, some of the more neutral shades). I definitely recommend checking them out in person and seeing how the shade you’re most interested in swatches, because it may or may not be pigmented enough for your liking.

Availability: Nordstrom, Bobbi Brown

See swatches and photosContinue reading →

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Clinique Black Tie Violet Collection for Winter 2009

Chic and sophisticated, Clinique’s has it!

Colour Surge Eye Shadow

  • Frosted Blossom
  • Purple Pixie
  • Black Orchid

Cream Shaper for Eyes

  • Starry Plum

Long Last Lipstick

  • Pinkberry

Long Last Glosswear SPF 15

  • Clearly Pink

Quickliner For Lips

  • Raspberry

Blushing Blush Powder Blush

  • Smoldering Plum
  • Iced Lotus

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Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Lippmann Collection is Celebrating Their 10-year Anniversary!

Today only, September 1st, 2009, every 10th customer to make a purchase on www.lippmanncollection.com will win a $50 gift certificate. To commemorate their anniversary, Deborah Lippmann created a limited edition trio of shades, available together for $35.00:

  • Superstar Show-stopping copper flecked fudge
  • Funky Chunky Sequined sheer black
  • Ruby Red Slippers Dorothy’s shimmering ruby
Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Illamasqua Fable Lipstick: Matte Bubblegum Pink

Illamasqua Fable Lipstick ($20.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “matte bubblegum pink” by Sephora.

Fable is an opaque, warmed-up bubblegum pink. I’ve found most bubblegum pink lipsticks to run a tad cool, while I find this one has a definite warm edge to it. I also wouldn’t call it matte, and I’d say it is more of a semi-matte finish, because there is some glossiness/sheen to it that I don’t normally see in matte textures. I do like the way it looks with just the hint of glossiness, because it keeps the lipstick from being too dry (it’s a smidgen creamy) or flat. Illamasqua packs plenty of pigmentation into this tube of lipstick; there’s no building or layering required to achieve the opacity as seen in the lip swatch.

Though a lipstick will cost you $20, the value is still strong, because you get 0.14 oz. for your troubles. Compared to other high-end brands, Illamasqua is just a bit more expensive than MAC ($140/oz. vs. $143/oz.), but not by much. Their lipsticks are priced right in line with other competitors like Cargo and Make Up For Ever, as well.

The packaging is functional and isn’t over-sized (like their eyeshadows/blushes can feel like)–there’s just nothing special to it. I will say I do feel like their labels tend to rub off all too quickly.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you like intense lip color, you may find Illamasqua’s matte lipsticks to be just the right kind for you.

Availability: Sephora.com

See swatches… Continue reading →