Monday, November 16th, 2009


China Glaze Ruby Pumps Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Wizard of Ohh Ahz Collection

China Glaze Wizard of Ohh Ahz Collection debuts this November, for the holiday season. The collection consists of six shades: Ruby Pumps (an all time red glitter favorite), The Ten Man (silver frost with specks of micro silver glitter), Cowardly Lyin’ (gold frost with specks of gold micro glitter), Good Witch (pink frost with specks of pink micro glitter), C-C-Courage (purple frost with specks of purple micro glitter), and Dorothy Who? (blue polish with massive amounts of silver and blue glitter).

It’s a re-release of a collection by the same name from 2001. I never owned the original set, so I couldn’t tell you if there’s any variance between the two. The materials I received said it was “very similar to the original version that was released in 2001,” so I imagine they may have revamped or improved their formula in the past eight years and that’s why they’re not identical.

  • Ruby Pumps is a gorgeous shade of ruby red with lots of deeper red shimmer particles laced throughout. It’s a shade that catches light well and just sparkles. Ruby Pumps has always been one of my favorite shades by China Glaze; it’s also included in the Love You Snow Much set for holiday. This applies opaquely with two medium-thick coats and goes on smoothly.
  • The Ten Man is a semi-sheer slightly silvered clear base with silver sparkle. I found this one was hard to make opaque, even with three medium-thick coats. The shimmer didn’t seem to apply as uniformly as the other five in this launch, but I like the shade itself. I’d probably wait longer between coats and do thicker coats as well, perhaps even use a silver or grayish base for a more opaque look.
  • Cowardly Lyin’ is a bright, yellow-based metallic gold base with gold shimmer. Like The Ten Man, I found this one was harder to get to be completely opaque (you can see the tip of my nail). It’s more opaque than The Ten Man, but I’d, personally, prefer a more opaque base. I really like the color, though – it’s a very true gold; it reminds me of lions, for sure, and it’s perfect for the holidays.
  • Good Witch is a slightly cool paled down rosy pink with pink sparkle. The pink sparkle in this one seemed a little chunkier than some of the others, which isn’t a problem for me, but just something I noted. This one went opaque in three medium-thick coats.
  • C-C-Courage is a deep, rich purple with a cool undertone. It’s a dark purple base with lighter icy purple and silver sparkle. This one only needed two medium-thick coats to look opaque (even one gets you close).
  • Dorothy Who? is an oceanic blue with lighter and deeper blue sparkle. I actually thought this one was particularly stunning in person! I wasn’t so sure at first, when I saw the bottle, but it really is lovely. It sparkles quite nicely when the light hits it. It takes at least three medium-thick coats to get an opaque look, perhaps even three thicker coats.

Overall, I really liked the formula, texture, and look of the shades included in this collection. I absolutely loved Ruby Pumps, Cowardly Lyin’, and Dorothy Who? — those would be my top three picks out of the six. While I normally love, love China Glaze and its formula, I do feel that a lot of these run on the sheerer side.  Ruby Pumps and C-C-Courage are the biggest exceptions to this, as they meet my expectations from China Glaze!

I have to say this, though: why is there no Emerald City? I know China Glaze has Emerald Sparkle, which would have certainly been fitting to this launch. I don’t know; I really expected to see a green in a collection about the Wizard of Oz, you know? Kind of left me hanging in that respect.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re looking to add some sparkle–but not glitter–China Glaze’s Wizard of Ohh Ahz Collection has you covered!

Availability:  November 2009

See close-ups and swatches of the other five shadesContinue reading →

Monday, November 16th, 2009


NYX Goddess of the Night Lip Gloss in Deep Bronze

Lipgloss on a Budget: NYX Deep Bronze Lip Gloss

NYX Goddess of the Night Lip Gloss in Deep Bronze ($5.00 for 0.53 fl. oz.) is just one of sixty shades (from what I counted on NYX‘s website) available in the Lipgloss with Mega Shine collection. Deep Bronze is part of the “Goddess of the Night” collection. It’s a deep plum burgundy with burnt burgundy and copper shimmer through it.

The formula has a very glossy, almost frosty look, and it goes on semi-opaque–it’s not completely opaque, but it certainly is noticeable.  I consider it pretty pigmented for a lip gloss, so that was a pleasant and happy surprise!  The gloss itself is non-sticky, thick without being gooey, and it doesn’t feel drying when you wear it.  The shade range is incredible, and you’re sure to find at least one or two that catches your eye.  I wish NYX represented their colors with more true-to-life photos (rather than flat, graphical color swatches), because it would make purchasing online easier.

I did notice that it didn’t last as long as the average gloss does on me; it went about two hours before I felt I needed to reapply, as opposed to my typical gloss wear-time of four hours. I also found that, at least in this deeper shade, the color did have a tendency to settle into the lines of my lips. I like these glosses, and I think that aside from the wearing time, the formula and product are certainly well worth the five dollar price tag.  It’s not a big deal to reapply, because it does fade evenly and doesn’t leave any rings behind, so reapply and be on your way.  (However, if you need long-wearing lip color, these won’t meet that need.)

For me, the only part I really had trouble with was the very synthetic, almost plastic scent of sweetened cherries. I know that they were going for a cherry scent, but it just read synthetic and almost as if it went bad.  The scent doesn’t linger, thankfully, though so just breathe through your mouth while applying! :) I have also noticed that my NYX glosses and lipsticks don’t last as long on the shelf as my other lipsticks (they noticeably change in smell/texture after a year or so)–I had some NYX glosses from a year or so ago, but Deep Bronze is new. I also wish the applicator grabbed more product, because I felt like I had to get a few swipes to get the amount I needed for the best coverage.

Bottom Line: These are good glosses and worth checking out, partially because they are so affordable.  The formula itself (aside from wear-time and the scent) wears well, feels nice on lips, and packs some pigmentation. If they only last a year, it’s not a big deal to chuck it and replace it the next (if you find yourself wanting it again), since they’re so inexpensive. It’s also a nice way to play and experiment with colors without blowing your budget–not to mention there’s an extensive selection of shades to choose from!

NYX is one of my favorite brands if you’re on a tight budget (and certainly worth looking into even if you aren’t on a tight budget!). NYX also regularly has these ridiculous blowout sales where you can nab a ton of product for 50-80% off the original price. For example, right now they’re offering a bundle of sixty lipsticks for a mere $48. Seriously. $48!  The sales change regularly, so you never know what they might offer next!

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For an affordable non-sticky, high gloss lip gloss, NYX has enough shades to keep you busy!

Availability: NYX

See swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Clinique Parisian Red Lipstick
Clinique Parisian Red Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Clinique Parisian Red Lipstick

Clinique Parisian Red Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a glossy, just-bitten red with pinky tones. Parisian Red is part of Clinique’s Butter Shine Lipstick line-up, which is described as “wearable color” with sheer to moderate coverage. Parisian Red was a limited edition shade from Clinique’s holiday collection last year, but you can still find Parisian Red at Nordstrom! :) The formula itself is creamy, smooth, and incredibly moisturizing. It does feel like a very glossy lipstick, actually. The color itself is opaque enough to give lips plenty of pop, but they’re not completely opaque. I really love this particular shade of red for the formula itself, because it’s so easy and comfortable to wear.

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See more swatches and comparison photosContinue reading →

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

MAC Classic Dame Lipstick
MAC Classic Dame Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: MAC Classic Dame Lipstick

MAC Classic Dame Mattene Lipstick ($14.50) is a semi-matte shade of creamy, opaque nearly neutral ruby red. It’s a bright pop of red with a superb formula, and it really is a shame that MAC hasn’t made the Mattene formula (and its lovely shades!) permanent. This shade is certainly fitting to its name–Classic Dame–and it reminded me a bit of Chanel’s Dragon. The semi-matte finish gives the color a bit of glossy sheen without adding any frostiness, and it also makes it moisturizing but still hugs the lips to give you several hours of wear. Anyone else remember Classic Dame and wish they’d make it permanent?

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See more swatches and comparison photosContinue reading →

Sunday, November 15th, 2009


China Glaze Pretty Pink Nail Lacquer

China Glaze: Glitter Polishes — Preppy Pink

China Glaze Preppy Pink Nail Lacquer ($3.20 to $7.00) is a warmed-up, medium pink with a yellow undertone with a mix of lilac, silver, and icy pink square-shaped glitter. Preppy Pink is part of China Glaze’s fifty new glitter polishes, along with Atlantis and Meteor Shower, which I reviewed earlier this week.

Preppy Pink has a pink jelly base that goes on opaque in two medium-thick coats, and the glitter itself rises to the top and sparkles prettily. Like the other two new glitter shades I’ve tried from China Glaze’s latest batch, the quality of and the way the formula applies is fantastic. Glitter polishes are, by their nature, not smooth to the touch, though a thicker top coat can help minimize the feel–it’s hard to completely mask it, though. It’s a lovely shade of pink, and I’m so pleased to see a warm pink, too.

Are you loving or hating this Preppy Pink shade?

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For a pretty light pink–probably most suitable for spring–Preppy Pink is a good one to check out!

Availability: 8ty8tbeauty.com, Head2ToeBeauty.com, TransDesign.com

See close-upContinue reading →

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Guerlain Rouge Sultan Cashmere Lip Gloss

The Scarlet Season: Guerlain Rouge Sultan Cashmere Lip Gloss

Guerlain Rouge Sultan Cashmere Lip Gloss ($28.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a liquid lipstick in the shade of vibrant, orange-based red. It’s a fiery red that’s definitely a showstopping shade of scarlet. It has a semi-matte finish (even though it’s described as matte), because it still has a slight sheen to it. I would describe Guerlain’s Cashmere Lip Glosses to having a similar feel as Chanel’s Rouge Allure Laques, but they’re thinner and a little more drying on the lips (though I wouldn’t say that they are drying!). Rouge Sultan wears incredibly well, because it really hugs lips and lasts me hours and gets through a cup of coffee. Although Rouge Sultan is a limited edition shade from Guerlain’s Terracotta collection, it is still available for purchase through both Nordstrom and Sephora.

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See more swatches and comparison photosContinue reading →