Sunday, December 27th, 2009


Laura Mercier Naked Rose Lip Velvet

Laura Mercier Naked Rose Lip Velvet ($22.00) is a brick-brown nude. Like Mocha Rouge, the color is difficult to describe, but it’s most certainly not what I’d think of when I read “Naked Rose.” (I would have expected a pink-y shade, maybe a beige-y pink!)

Lip Velvets are indeed long-wearing liquid lipsticks. They apply with a doe-foot wand applicator and go on extremely pigmented from the get-go. They are, however, more matte in finish (I’d consider it semi-matte, personally), so they do tend to feel dry on lips. What’s unique about the formula is that even though it feels dry, it’s not actually drying. The product just hugs and clings to lips, but it doesn’t actually dry them out as some matte products do.

As I mentioned in my review of Mocha Rouge, I don’t think the formula is that comparable to Chanel’s Rouge Allure Laques. Chanel is more moisturizing, don’t cling as much, and have a very glossy finish. The shade range is also completely different, so you can’t just pick one over the other so easily!

Again, I’d really love to see Laura Mercier expand the range to include more versatile and wearable shades in 2010.

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’re looking for a work-safe, long-wearing lip color, check out Laura Mercier’s Lip Velvets.

Availability: Blue Mercury

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Saturday, December 26th, 2009

More Natural Makeup with MAC Warm & Cozy

Here’s another simple look I did with Warm & Cozy. There’s really not much to it! I just wanted something easy, functional, and neutral. I thought about wearing By Candlelight in this look, but MAC’s mineralize products tend to break me out, so I didn’t want to risk it over the holidays. I just went with my new favorite Sugarbomb instead! :)

You will need the following…

Directions: Start by applying MAC Nurture shadestick as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply Chamomile eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply Expensive Pink eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with Modelette eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Next, define the crease by applying Mulled Cider eyeshadow with the 226. Lightly tap and brush Modelette eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Chamomile eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Urban Decay Underground Liner on the lower lash line, and then sweeping lashes with Dior DiorShow Extase mascara.

For cheeks, apply Benefit Sugarbomb powder to the apples of cheeks with the 116.

For lips, apply Warm Me Up lipstick first, and then layer D’Nouveau lipgloss for soft, neutral lips.

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Friday, December 25th, 2009

Going Gray?  Chanel Particuliere Nail Lacquer

Last week, I reviewed the majority of Chanel’s Spring collection, which includes three new nail lacquers, but I only reviewed Inattendu and Tendresse and was missing Particuliere ($23.00), which is easily the more interesting shade of the three (Inattendu is a beige-y nude while Tendresse is a soft, milky medium pink).  Chanel describes it simply as grey, which I think is just a little inaccurate.

This is much more of a grayed taupe, because it has definite brown tones to it.  It’s certainly not a rainy gray kind of color, though.  The brown does warm-up the shade, though, and it’s something I could see myself wearing.   It’s dark enough not to be pastel or light or traditionally spring, but it’s not so dark that it makes you feel like fall.  This applied and looked better than the other two shades, though (count me surprised!) — it was very creamy, smooth, and went opaque in two coats.

I’d say that Chanel has made other colors more worthy of the $23 splurge, but I do like this one quite a bit.  (Even for high-end, Chanel’s nail lacquers are quite pricey, particularly compared to brands like Dior.) I imagine OPI’s You Don’t Know Jacques is somewhat similar (I don’t own it, so I’m just going off of swatches I’ve seen).

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re feeling like a splurge, Chanel nail lacquer certainly qualifies as one!

Availability: Nordstrom, Saks

Check out more photos and swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Dolce & Gabbana Ruby Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Sheer Shine Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Dolce & Gabbana Sheer Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Sheer Shine Lipstick ($30.00) is a glossy, orange-based red. It’s smooth, feels moisturizing, and is richly pigmented. Even though the Shine formula is designed to deliver semi-sheer color, this particular shade definitely gives lips plenty of color. I’d personally consider it an opaque shade that gives full color coverage. It’s like a redder, slightly more tamed version of Fire. Since it’s a Shine lipstick, it doesn’t have the same richness or creamy feeling as The Classic Cream formula, but on the other hand, it has a glossier finish and feels more hydrating once on lips.

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 photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Lancome Red Stiletto Lipstick
Lancome Red Stiletto Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Lancome Red Stiletto Lipstick

Lancome Red Stiletto Color Deseign Lipstick ($22.00) is a bold, ruby red with a very faint sheen with an otherwise played down, creamy finish. It’s bright and bold and yet not stop sign red, either. It feels creamy, hugs lips, and provides full color coverage in just one layer. It’s a solid blue-based red that lasts for a good five or six hours before subtly wearing away and leaving behind a red-tinged stain.

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 photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Natural Makeup with MAC Warm & Cozy

As promised, here’s a quick look I did using a bunch of Warm & Cozy products! I used Comfort mineralize skinfinish as a blusher in the first set of full-face pictures more to show you what it looks like on (and why I’m not keen on it) — I often do my best to use as many products from a single launch as possible, just to experiment and show you what you could do (or why you may want to pull pieces from your stash to complement a launch).

Comfort on me is like a dirty orange (and trust, I applied lightly–talk about pigmented, at least!), and By Candlelight is definitely shimmery/reflective — I only put the lightest it bit on the tops of my cheeks, but sure enough, BAM!

Today is exciting for two reasons: Christmas Eve (love, love Christmas! I have a thing for food and glitz and glam) and it’s Mellan’s birthday (he’s two years old today)! :) Super sweet reader Roxanne (@RockSlam) made an awesome collage, too. It’s SO cute. Totally made my day! (You can check it out in this post, at the bottom!)

Merry Christmas Eve to those who celebrate :) Happy winter, if you don’t!

You will need the following…

Directions: Start by applying Cuddle shadestick as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply Chamomile eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply Modelette eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with Mulled Cider eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Next, define the crease by applying Embark eyeshadow with the 226. Lightly tap and brush Modelette  eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Chamomile eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Urban Decay El Dorado Liner on the lower waterline and Dipdown fluidline on the upper lash line with the 208, and then sweeping lashes with Dior DiorShow Extase mascara.

For cheeks, lightly apply Comfort mineralize skinfinish to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116. Highlight lightly with By Candlelight mineralize skinfinish using the 165 or 187. For more toned down cheeks, try Dior Coral Riviera blush with the 116.

For lips, apply Warm Me Up lipstick first, and then layer 2N lipglass for soft, neutral lips.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →