Friday, December 18th, 2009


Pretty Please, Intricate Lipsticks

MAC Love Lace Collection: Lips

I’m going to focus on reviewing the lipsticks and lipglasses in this post…  Overall, I wasn’t too impressed — pretty underwhelmed with the shade range, and as “cool” as the concept is for Intricate/Utterly Discrete, neither was pigmented enough to show up well on my lips!

Lipstick

  • Intricate is an ultra sheer plummy brown with multicolored shimmer. It’s quite sheer, even with many, many layers in a swatch.  It has a very frosty finish.
  • Pretty Please is a sheer, cool-toned, light pink with soft shimmer. This is a permanent shade.

Lipglass

  • Utterly Discrete is a sheer brown-based gloss with multi-colored shimmer (with a healthier dose of pinky-purple shimmer). It’s very much a complement to Intricate lipstick.  It looks very similar to Icescape on lips, sans the milky pink.
  • Icescape is a sheer, milky pink base with brighter iridescent pink and purple shimmer. This is a repromote.

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Friday, December 18th, 2009

Laura Mercier Cherrywood Lipstick
Laura Mercier Cherrywood Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Laura Mercier Cherrywood Lipstick

Laura Mercier Cherrywood Lip Color ($22.00) is an almost neutral cherry red — it’s surprisingly muted for cherry, but with a name like “Cherrywood,” it’s the color I’d expect. It’s a downplayed cherry red with a touch of brick. I want to say it’s neutral, because in some lighting, it seems blue-based, but in other lighting, it seems orange-based. That’s kind of how I determine it must be more neutral than anything else!

It’s a creamy lipstick that goes on easily and looks a satin or semi-matte finish. It’s fairly moisturizing for such a matte formula, and the lipstick doesn’t feather or bleed on me. I gt about five or six hours of wear with this particular formula as well–always a plus!

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!

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Friday, December 18th, 2009

Guerlain Jeu d'Ombrelles Eyeshadow Quad

The many shades of purple… Guerlain Jeu d’Ombrelles Eyeshadow Quad

Guerlain Jeu d’Ombrelles Eyeshadow Quad ($59.00) is the other new product featured in Guerlain’s Cherry Blossom Collection. You can expect to see the eyeshadow quad hitting counters in the next two weeks or so.

Guerlain describes the four shades as: pink and white tones with violet and mauve. For some reason, I was surprised with how the colors actually swatched — this just didn’t strike me as a definitively cool-toned, purple-inspired kind of quad, but that is very much what it is. In order to swatch with meaning, I pretty much wiped off the overlay prior to actually doing swatches. The results are an icy white-pink with soft shimmery sheen, a deepened eggplant plum with a matte finish, a fresh, medium pink with subtle shimmer/sheen, and a matte cool-toned medium purple.

The shades don’t immediately say “unique, buy me!” but I don’t think I have exact dupes in my collection. If I had to list MAC dupes for these shades, I’d suggest Crystal Avalanche, Shadowy Lady, Sweet Lust, and Fig. 1/Satellite Dreams — none of which would be that close. It’s just one of those situations where the shades don’t look particularly original and yet somehow they’re not exactly repeated shades either.

All four eyeshadows swatched smoothly, felt like silk, and were decently pigmented. Both the matte shades felt soft to the touch and didn’t feel or look chalky. The other two shades are noticeably shimmery, but they didn’t feel frosty on me. (They may appear frostier on darker skin tones, though.)

Like the Cherry Blush Blush, it’s housed in an elegant black lacquered compact. The total eyeshadow weight is 0.20 oz. (0.05 oz. per shade), which means you are getting a good amount of product per shade. The compact also includes two double-sided sponge applicators, but I only found them useful for swatching and wouldn’t use them for actual eyeshadow application myself (I’m a brush snob, what can I say?).

Bottom Line: I like this eyeshadow quad, but I’m not quite in love with it yet. It’s very soft, pretty, and certainly reminiscent of spring. The more I use it, though, the more I appreciate it for its subtly and how easy it is to use (all four shades coordinate really well with each other, since they all lean a little purple).

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: If you like purple eyeshadow, this just might be a match for you.

Availability: January 2010

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Friday, December 18th, 2009

Guerlain Cherry Blossom Blush

Spring Blossoms with Guerlain’s Cherry Blossom Blush

Guerlain Cherry Blossom Blush ($49.00) is part of Guerlain’s Cherry Blossom Collection, which also features a new eyeshadow quad called Jeu d’Ombrelles and (repromoted) Meteorites Voyage Powder in Mythic. Both the blush and the eyeshadow quad are new and limited edition. The collection will hit the usual suspects come January of next year.

First, I love, love, LOVE Guerlain’s blushes — they’re so soft, subtle, and smooth. (See swatches of their six permanent shades for reference.) Cherry Blossom is no exception to the soft, subtle, and smooth description I’ve grown accustomed to using to describe Guerlain’s blushes.

Guerlain describes the color as “a pink and peach blush with shades reminiscent of Japanese cherry trees in bloom.” I’d describe it as a muted peach with pink myself. It’s soft, subtle, and doesn’t really have noticeable shimmer (at most, a sheen). It’s an interesting shade, because it’s not quite peach, yet not that pink, either. For spring, I think it’s a really perfect shade for light and medium skin tones. Deeper skin tones may have trouble getting it to show up as pigmented as they’d like, but it may still be wearable as a more natural color.

The compact is a glossy black, which is surprisingly lovely (haven’t seen Guerlain do black yet myself; they likely have in the past, before I was into makeup). I think I like it more than their permanent packaging (a cool-toned gold metal), actually. The powder is embossed with both a design as well as a shimmery overlay on parts of it. The overlay definitely goes away after the first few uses, but the peachy pieces do seem to go through; the majority shade is the pale pink with just a touch of peach. The peach-colored pieces are in the minority, but they do impact the color quite a bit.

As much as I think the powder is pretty with the design, I’ve come to learn that I’d rather not have a design at all (or perhaps, just an imprint, but no overlays), because I can totally sympathize with those who find it too pretty to use. Even though I received this as a sample, I was hesitant to swatch, because it looked so lovely in the compact! My other issue is that the first few swatches (or uses) tend to give you a different color than what you’ll get later on down the road. I can appreciate the fact that Guerlain does make it pretty obvious that the overlay is exactly that, an overlay, so I don’t feel duped, at least!

Though pricey for a blush at $49, you do get a whopping 0.32 oz. of product. It’s also just a $1 more than the pricing of their other blushes (which actually just makes me suspect an upcoming price increase in 2010), so I’m pleased to see Guerlain didn’t puff up the price simply for the sake of the overlay or limited-edition nature of the piece. I’ll probably never use up a blush in my life (except MAC Margin, perhaps!), but it’s nice to know they’re not skimping you on the actual product. Oh, yeah, and a bonus? The angled blush brush that comes with it is quite soft–total surprise to me–which was also a nice touch.

Bottom Line: I think Guerlain fans will enjoy this prettily designed spring blush. It’s a great shade for a little pick-me-up color in the spring, particularly for pale-to-medium skin tones.

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: 5/5

Recommendation: Certainly a highly anticipated collection, the blush doesn’t disappoint–if you’re in the mood for subtle, natural spring color.

Availability: January 2010

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Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Holiday Sparkle with Prescriptives

Prescriptives Cool Lustre Shimmer Cheek Color ($24.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a gorgeous plummy pink with gold sparkle. It instantly reminded me of MAC’s Stark Naked Blush (swatch. They are very similar, though not exactly the same — but if you’ve always wanted Stark Naked (one of my favorite blushes!), this one is a nice substitute, even if it is also limited edition.

The texture of Cool Lustre is smooth, soft, and the color is noticeable. It’s not ultra pigmented like NARS’ blushes, but it has just the right amount of pigmentation to add plenty of pop to your cheeks–plus, you can always layer for deeper color.

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:  If you’ve been looking for a dupe for MAC’s Stark Naked Blush or enjoy yourself a cool-toned plum… you might like this!

Availability: Nordstrom, Prescriptives

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Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Too Faced Spring 2010 Collection

Fun in the Dark Light-up Mirror Makeup Palette ($32.50)

Fun in the Dark marks the limited-edition return of the Too Faced Quickie Chronicles, an all-essential novella that features a collection of Too Faced best-sellers and two exclusive eye shadow shades. This luxury pro-palette contains a makeup mirror that
lights up for additional glam, on the go

  • Eyeshadows: Pin Up, Peep Show, Full Frontal, Lucky Charms
  • Lip Shades: Girls Dig Pearls in Tropical Pink; Lip of Luxury in Free Love
  • Papa Don’t Peach Brightening Blush
  • Sun Bunny Bronzer

Eyeshadow Duos ($17.00)

Too Faced introduces a set of natural-hued, highly wearable SHADOW DUOS inspired by the best-selling Natural Eye Kit. These sexy shades offer endless possibilities and harmonizing, beautiful hues for a foolproof professional application. High-quality pigments deliver intense, vibrant color and long lasting wear. Made to easily blend and glide on when applied, each shadow seamlessly melts together for a professional finish every time. The velvety matte formula is ideal for effortless base and highlight combinations.

  • Heaven & Teddy Bear Matte taupe / matte ivory
  • Honey Pot & Cocoa Puff Warm chocolate brown shimmer / warm gold shimmer
  • Peach Fuzz & Sexpresso Matte deep brown / golden peach shimmer
  • Teddy & Erotica Rich chocolate shimmer / peach champagne shimmer

Brightening Blush ($19.50)

  • La Vie En Rose A vivid, glam and rosy pink hue that’s both naughty and nice!

Mood Swing ($18.50)

Too Faced expands its cult-hit MOOD SWING LIP GLOSS with the launch of three additional shades that work to achieve the absolute perfect, personalized pout! The newest additions of this shade-shifting lip gloss blossom into a variety of perfect pink hues using exclusive Heat Responsive Technology that reacts to the body’s temperature and adjust to reveal a range of lip tints within the color spectrum. Feeling happy, elated or just plain sassy? No matter what mood you’re emoting, Mood Swing Lip Gloss will reveal lush, juicy color that perfectly complements you in every way. Mood Swing Lip Gloss is formulated with a healing cocktail of hydrating and soothing ingredients including Shea Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil and Vitamin E.

  • Berry Pink Grape sweet berries flavor
  • Petal Pink Strawberry flavor
  • Pink Shimmer Blueberry flavor

Availability:  Now available at Sephora.com!

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