Monday, October 12th, 2009

Korres Lip Scrub ($19.00) is a solid lip scrub in the shape of a lipstick. It uses rice powder to exfoliate while jojoba oil and beeswax are there to hydrate your lips.

The product has me at odds. I’m not sure if it’s best to remove it, let it sink in for a few minutes, then remove, or not to remove it at all. The rice powder makes for a very, very subtle exfoliator, and it feels more like a polisher than a scrub. I really didn’t feel like it did much in the way of exfoliation, though it did make my lips feel more hydrated–if I didn’t wipe it off, but the grainy bits of rice… you have to wipe it off at some point. Otherwise, it just feels like you have sand on your lips.

The lemon scent is very subtle, too, and I think I smell more of the jojoba oil/beeswax combination than the lemon. This stuff also doesn’t taste good, so those who have the urge to lick their lips while this is on… resist!

While convenient for travel, I don’t personally find it necessary to travel with. A toothbrush or a wash cloth will do in a pinch, and at $19, I’d rather buy another lipstick than a lip scrub that does just a so-so job. Not to mention, I think it’s easy to use up this product, so you won’t get as much usage out of it as you’d like before needing another tube.

  • Product: 22/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Availability: Sephora.com

Monday, October 12th, 2009


Dynamic Duo

Sonia Kashuk Eyeshadow Duos ($7.99) are a great, budget-friendly way to satisfy your eyeshadow fix. Today, I thought we’d take a look at two duos:

Dynamic Duo is a mix of pale, seafoam green and a dirty brown with silver-gray frost.  Dynamic Duo works really well with the cooler weather these days, as it’s just dark enough to work with autumn tones, but it’s not so vampy that it’s too dark, either. Dynamic Duo is a very wearable duo, and I didn’t find either shade to be chalky or hard to use. Both shades were pigmented and had a frost finish.

Double Whammy is a vibrant, medium blue with a soft sheen and a bright pop of springy green with yellow undertones.  Double Whammy is one of my favorite Sonia Kashuk duos, because it is extremely pigmented, but it is also vibrant. Sometimes it can be difficult to find this kind of brightness in the drugstore, but Sonia Kashuk gives us a good answer for bright blues and greens. The blue reminds me of MAC’s Freshwater, while the green is kind of a mix of MAC’s Swimming and Juxt.

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Availability: Target

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Sunday, October 11th, 2009


Guerlain Gabrielle Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick

Guerlain Gabrielle Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a sheer, baby pink with soft shimmer.    It’s creamy in texture, and the formula keeps lips hydrated.  This shade wears so-so; I get about three or four hours without having to reapply, but since it’s lighter, once it starts to fade, it’s more noticeable on me.  It’s not as opaque as I’d like, and it reminds me of the way MAC lustre lipsticks look on me (which I don’t love).  I wouldn’t recommend this shade as the first Rouge G to own, just because it doesn’t represent the lipstick as well as some of the other shades.

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

Availability: Nordstrom

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Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Tarte Femme Naturale Eye Palette ($44.00) is an eyeshadow palette that contains ten different shades of Tarte eyeshadow from their fall collection. (Tarte also released the Femme Fatale Eyeshadow Palette with this one.)

  • A pale champagne with slight sheen. This one is a paler version of the color next to it and has more of a frost finish.
  • A champagne with the lightest champagne shimmer. It’s a soft shade, and it makes for a perfect highlighter within this palette.
  • A subdued, semi-matte rose-mauve. I like this shade for two reasons: it’s a subtle way to incorporate a pinker color into your palette without worrying so much it may make you look like you’re crying; but also because I don’t see this particular shade very often. I also dig the finish.
  • A sparkling mix of peachy-gold and soft rose. This reminded me of MAC’s Say Yeah eyeshadow, but a little dark, which is just fine in my book. Say Yeah was always one of my go-to shades. This one has the most frosty/glittery appearance, but I didn’t find it had a lot of fall out issues as glittery shades often do.
  • A deep forest green with a little bit of a grayish tinge. This one had amazing pigmentation and texture–very soft, smooth, and gives you plenty of intensity without having to pack it on.
  • A semi-matte reddish brown. There’s not a whole to say about the shade itself, but it doesn’t read too warm to me (maybe even cool, actually). It has really good pigmentation, and it is surprisingly not chalky for a shadow with such a matte finish.
  • A light, peachy-brown with a frosty finish. This one is similar to the other neutrals in the palette, as it has that frosty look. It’s pigmented and feels soft to the touch.
  • A chalky, cool-toned lilac-pink. Personally, this shade is one I’d find difficult to pull off on my skin tone, but I think those with cooler skin tones will appreciate it. It’s chalky, but I’d say half of it comes from how cool the shade is along with the matte finish.
  • A plummy rose with gold glitter. This color is so stunning! It’s this gorgeous shade that I envision being perfect for fall or holiday. I love the way the gold flecks sparkle in the plummy base. This one wasn’t as pigmented as the others, but it still was pretty good.
  • A rich bronze with gold flecks and a frost finish. This one has a very nice feel to it–very soft–and goes on like butter and has intense pay off.
  • A dark, smoky blue-black with a gray cast. This one was the least pigmented out of the ten shadows, and it kind of dragged a bit when I swatched.

This is a solid palette that gives you a ton of product for under $50. Tarte shadows themselves are high in quality and still affordable.  They’re soft, smooth, and they’re usually easy to blend. The only thing I really wasn’t jazzed over was the product’s packaging.  It just feels tacky to me, and I hate that fingerprints get stuck all over the casing.  The “rose” attached also presents some storage woes.

Each eyeshadow is 0.06 oz., and the palette itself is refillable. Tarte refillable eyeshadows retail for $10 a pop. The palette itself yields you a cost of $73.33/oz. whereas one refillabe Tarte eyeshadow will run you $166.67/oz. Buying these together means you get twice as much for half the cost! :)

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

Recommendation:  If you’d like some neutrals–but not just neutrals–Tarte’s Femme Naturale palette offers a good combination to get you started.

Availability: Sephora

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Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

MAC Eyeshadow Product Photos – Part 2

Here’s part two (also the last part) of product photos of permanent MAC eyeshadows! :) You can view part one here.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Chanel Holiday 2009 Collection
Les Tissages Lames de Chanel / Shimmering Tweed Highlighter

Chanel Shimmering Tweed Highlighter ($60.00 for 0.45 oz.) is the next level of limited edition, luxurious highlighters from Chanel’s Holiday Collection. If you’ve enjoyed Chanel’s Tweed Blushes, I can only imagine you’re particularly curious about this new item.

Chanel describes this highlighter as, “Holiday beauty furthers the fantasy with three delicately ‘woven’ shades of shimmering colour for cheeks and décolleté. Gold, bronze and copper tones cast a natural luminous glow on skin to highlight and heighten a festive effect. Unmistakably CHANEL: the powder’s imprinted surface, inspired by the iconic tweed.”

It’s a woven mix of metallic, paled down silver-gold (seriously, silver-gold), subtly shimmered fleshy-peach, and coppery-brown, while gold flecks permeate throughout the product. The entire effect is a shimmery golden-bronze color. For lighter skin tones, this can be worn as a light bronzer/blush, but for most, it’s just an excellent highlighter. It feels smooth, soft, and looks like holiday if it were a highlighter. It twinkles, shimmers, and glitters (but not in a disco ball way!).

Value wise, the price tag is steep no matter how you look at it. Even though you get a fair amount of product for your buck, it’s still more than a lot of us want to spend on a highlighter. In the end, it’s slightly pricier than Dior’s SkinShimmers, but not by much. This highlighter is $133.33/oz. whilst Dior’s is $122.86/oz. If you compare it against blush shades, Chanel comes in as less expensive than NARS ($156.25/oz.) and Smashbox ($184.62/oz.)–and significantly less expensive than even Chanel blushes ($300.00/oz).

Bottom line: I consider this a splurge item, but I wouldn’t wait too long, because it is limited edition, and it’s a product that’s easy to fall in love with. I still prefer my Dior SkinShimmers for everyday highlighting, because the shimmer is finer and subtler, but this is definitely going to be a go-to for special occasions! (Besides, Dior doesn’t have a SkinShimmer in quite this tone — Amber Diamond is a bit darker/more copper than golden as this is.)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: For a beautiful holiday highlighter, consider Chanel’s limited edition Tweed Highlighter.

Availability: Chanel in October/November 2009

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