Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Fusion Beauty Infatuation

Fusion Beauty LipFusion Infatuation ($29.00 for 0.19 oz.) is supposed to be a liquid lip color that also plumps up lips with Fusion Beauty’s Amplifat™ technology.

In the past, Fusion’s LipFusion has always been my go-to if I ever want a lip plumper, just because I found their original LipFusion line to be incredibly non-irritating — no burning, stinging, tingling, or in other words, pain, when using it. I tried DuWop Lip Venom, and I thought my lips were going to fall off! I’m personally not into lip plumpers myself, because I do like my natural lip size (and sometimes feel they’re too big!), so I don’t often seek out anything that’ll fatten them up.

What Fusion Beauty says are key ingredients…

  • Amplifat™: concentrate (derived from a perennial sea fern) works with the skin’s own triggers to help naturally increase two key proteins that occur naturally in the skin (ADFP and FABP5). These two key proteins help induce diffusion and storage of fatty acids.
  • Lip Vantage: is a dual-encapsulated plumping and highly hydrating ingredient that delivers incredible moisture and promotes lip renewal for more youthful looking lips
  • Peptides: enhance collagen synthesis for naturally enhanced, lush, youthful, healthy lips.

But naturally, I was curious about Fusion Beauty’s new Infatuation line-up, and I’m all about more color in a lipgloss! I tried three shades…

  • In the Flesh is a semi-opaque darkened peach with light pink-peach shimmer and lots of glossy shine.
  • Sugar Rush looks like a light peachy-pink when I swatched it, but on my lips, it looks much more like a sheer milky pink with silver-pink shimmer.
  • Pucker Up is a semi-opaque medium pink with a little bit of brightness, but I wouldn’t call it a full-on hot pink. I felt like this one had the least amount of noticeable shimmer and looked more like a creamy gloss (but it did seem to have a touch of shimmer).

None of the three shades I tried really grabbed me by color. They didn’t apply too evenly on their own, and the color had a tendency to settle into lip lines. If you layer it over a lipstick, you’ll get a more even application, but then you’ll lose a lot of the lip plumping effect (since it’s no longer directly on your lips), so it’s kind of a wash. The gloss smells like grapefruit to me, but at the very least, it has a slightly sweet scent with a kick.

The tingling action was so-so — it felt like a bit more than LipFusion, but it was still something I could endure (and I have a low threshold for tingling on my lips). The result was just slightly bigger lips, but the effect could have easily been from how glossy the formula was rather than any actual fattening on a more scientific level. The gloss itself was thick enough that it felt like a creamy lip gloss, but it was still non-sticky. The wear time felt a little less than average, as it seemed to fade and wear off after just two or three hours when I tested it out.

This lip plumping gloss goes for about $152.63/oz. as compared to Fusion Beauty’s Color Shine (which contains 0.29 oz.) at $131.03/oz. — but each Color Shine retails for $38, which is a bit of a steep investment to make into a single lip product. $29 puts it around the level of Chanel, Dior, and Guerlain lip glosses but with a plumping effect.

Bottom line: As a gloss, not overly impressive, and there are numerous other high-end glosses at $29 a pop I’d opt for over these (Chanel Glossimers and Guerlain KissKiss Gloss, just to name two). As a lip plumper, it makes lips look fuller, but it’s not enough plumping for me to shell out $29 to get it. I think, as well, since the gloss itself isn’t outstanding, I’d rather go for their clear formula and use another gloss for color.

  • Product: 20/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  For those who prefer a lip plumper that doesn’t pain them, LipFusion might work out for you.  These glosses are more pigmented than their Color Shine formula, but your mileage will vary by the shade.

Availability: Sephora

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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Guerlain Imperiale Holiday Collection / Meteorites

Guerlain Meteorites Perles Impériales ($53.00 for 1.2 oz.) is the latest limited edition shade of Guerlain’s famous Meteorites from their holiday collection, slated for release this October.

Perles Imperiales is a soft, icy cool-toned pink highlighter with silvery-pink shimmer. I’m not sure if it’s possible to use this as a blush, as it’s really quite sheer and soft on me, so I do think the best way to use these is as a highlighter/luminizer. The pearls themselves are a mix of medium pink, pale lilac, peach, and burnt peach. What separates Guerlain’s Meteorites from other highlighters is how subtle and fine the shimmer is. It’s just a very silky, smooth highlighter that works well on a variety of skin types. It doesn’t make you look like a disco ball, but it still gives you noticeable “glow.” This is something you can subtly apply all over the face or just strategically to highlight certain areas (e.g. cheeks), which I like.

Guerlain describes Perles Imperiales as, “Easy to apply and almost magical, these famous multiple-effect pearls are as luminous as imperial silk and come in three formats – mini, medium and maxi – in order to optimize their evening-out and corrective action. They are also reinvented in three new shades intended to create a fresh, sublime complexion. Mauve and white illuminators, with pink for freshness and gold for light, brighten and smooth the skin to a sleek satin perfection. The famous Météorites compact features an opulent pouch in shiny black fabric, decorated with light-infused silver and rhinestones.”

The packaging for this limited edition shade is gorgeous. It’s in the same traditional cardboard packaging as the rest of the Meteorites, but the outside is solid black with black rhinestones/sparkles all around the side and then a smattering of silver rhinestones/sparkles on the top. I love how this packaging looks, because I do find the Meteorites packaging, in general, to be a little cheap for Guerlain (since it’s out of cardboard), but they really classed it up with the sequin-like look of Perles Imperiales. I do prefer using a brush like the 165 or 187 by MAC with the Meteorites for best application.

I know some feel Meteorites are pricey, but you always have to look at the volume you get for your buck, too. This is one of the least expensive high-end highlighters, believe it or not! This is priced at just $44.17/oz. compared to my all-time favorite Dior Skin Shimmers, which are $122.86/oz. — nearly three times the price per ounce. I imagine one box of Meteorites will last you quite awhile. There is also something to be said about the design itself–beautiful, colored pearls of powder.

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

Recommendation: If you like subtle highlighters, fine shimmer, and luxe products, you might want to check out Guerlain’s Perles Imperiales when you can!

Availability: October 2009

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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Guerlain Greta Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Greta Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Greta Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a rich, intense shade of blue-based red. Where Geisha has an orange tone to it, Greta is its counterpart–blue-based. Even though I’m warm-toned, I always find myself drawn to blue-based reds. I just find they’re more flattering on me (maybe I’m wrong, but if you’re going to wear red, you have to feel confident, so I’m sticking with my blue-based reds!).

Greta is a gorgeous shade of solid, completely opaque slightly cool-toned red. It’s quite the stunning shade, and it’s perfect for the upcoming holiday season. It’s creamy, silky, and moisturizing on lips. It wears well for hours, and it comes off only minimally through eating/drinking, particularly because it is so rich in pigment. There’s a slight glossy sheen to it with microshimmer that gives it that subtle sparkle. One of my favorite shades of Rouge G so far!

The Glossover

P
product

Greta

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Monday, October 5th, 2009

Guerlain Imperiale Holiday Collection

Guerlain Bal de Nuit Eyeshadow Quad ($58.00) is the latest limited edition palette to be launched with the Imperiale Holiday Collection this October.

This is a stunning, incredibly elegant combination of classic shades that are perfect for year-round, but the shimmer and sparkle make it particularly fitting for the holiday season. This is not necessarily the most original eyeshadow quad of all time–it’s, at the very least, four shades of neutral-toned eyeshadows.

It includes four shades: a soft, sparkling gold-tinged white; a peachy-pink champagne with a frosty finish; a neutral-cool dark taupe brown with brighter bronze shimmer; and a warm-toned chocolate bronze with gold shimmer. All four shades have good color pigmentation, and as is standard with Guerlain eyeshadows, they feel silky smooth and apply like butter. They’re very blendable, and all four shadows work extremely well together. (Sometimes you’ll get a beautiful quad, but it’s not so easy to work with on its own.)

For me, this is just an easy, no-brainer eyeshadow quad that looks good, works well, and great for travel. I can just use the lightest two shades for a quick swipe of lid color, or I can use the two darker colors to add depth to the crease or go for more of a smoky eye. The quality is exactly what I’ve come to expect from Guerlain, so overall, I’m pleased.

It’s pricey, but as far as value goes? These eyeshadows are the same price, by the ounce, as MAC eyeshadows are. This eyeshadow quad contains roughly 6.7 oz. of eyeshadow, which is pretty good for a palette. With Guerlain, you do get the velvety soft case and the luxe, slighty hefty gold-esque packaging. It just all requires more of an initial investment than smaller-sized MAC eyeshadows.

Bottom line: This is a great, easy-to-use eyeshadow quad that has soft, silky colors that are natural and suitable to many. It’s practical and looks elegant while the shimmer is sophisticated.

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

Recommendation: If you’re in the market for a travel-worthy eyeshadow quad or a great set of neutrals, Guerlain’s latest just might work.

Availability: October 2009

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Monday, October 5th, 2009


Animated

L’Oreal HIP Matte Eyeshadow Duos ($9.99) are a more budget-friendly way of obtaining brighter, more pigmented eyeshadows. Each contains two shades of matte eyeshadows with a total weight of 0.08 oz. L’Oreal currently has five different matte eyeshadow duos available: Animated, Dashing, Perky, Poppy, and Striking.

  • Animated contains a chalky grayish-white and a periwinkle blue.
  • Perky contains a medium bright grassy green and a grayish-black.

I don’t love the matte eyeshadow duos. They’re okay–about average–but they’re not stellar. Since they’re matte, I do expect some chalkiness when I swatch, which is always minimized when you’re actually applying them with a brush. Nonetheless, the whitish side of Animated definitely looked and felt chalky and almost garish. I did love the shade of periwinkle blue in Animated, though–not a shade you see often, period. Perky has a lovely shade of green that doesn’t feel chalky or powdery, but the darker grayish-black shade has a lot of drag and just doesn’t have a great texture. So in the end, each duo only has one good shade–the other half is just so-so.

For comparison, a MAC eyeshadow contains 0.05 oz. of product and retails for $14.50 each. You get 0.03 oz. more and pay $9.99 a pop. A lot of mass retailer brands, like L’Oreal HIP, do go on sale on a frequent basis, so when they’re on sale, I’d be more willing to purchase these. At full price, I feel like it’s more than I want to pay for L’Oreal. I do consider the HIP line to be one of the better pigmented eyeshadow lines available at mass. I just wish you could swatch before you bought!

Bottom line: I wouldn’t pay full price ($9.99) for either of these duos, and I’d only really recommend Animated for the periwinkle blue, just because I don’t see that color in a lot of other lines. I love that L’Oreal is bringing matte color to the forefront, and I think the price point is affordable for many, particularly if they’re on sale.

  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you can catch L’Oreal’s H.I.P. line on sale, they’re worth trying. Paying full price on the other hand…

Availability: Drugstores/Mass Retailers

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Monday, October 5th, 2009

Bobbi Brown Holiday 2009 Collection

Featuring palettes, kits, and sets…

Chrome Eyeshadow ($22.00) (Limited Edition)

Nothing says holiday glamour like eyes dressed up in new Chrome Eye Shadow. Developed with highly reflective pearls, this opulent formula looks like liquid metal on lids and reflects light beautifully. Featured in our signature eye shadow compact, customized for the season with a luxe chrome finish.

  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Pewter

Goldstone Long-Wear Eye Palette ($40.00)

  • Goldstone Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadow
  • Mineral Dust Long-Wear Cream Shadow
  • Caviar Ink Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

Earth Metal Lip & Eye Palette ($60.00)

  • Autumn Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow
  • Earth Metal Metallic Eye Shadow
  • Zinc Metallic Eye Shadow
  • Black Spruce Metallic Eye Shadow
  • Sunset Gold Metallic Eye Shadow
  • Antique Gold Metallic Eye Shadow
  • Paisley Rose Creamy Lip Color
  • Rose Garden Creamy Lip Color
  • Rose Bud Creamy Lip Color
  • Barefoot Shimmer Creamy Lip Color

Velvet Plum Eye Palette ($40.00)

  • Bone Eye Shadow
  • Naked Eye Shadow
  • Velvet Plum Eye Shadow
  • Espresso Eye Shadow

Glitter Balm Lip Palette ($40.00)

  • Crystal Rose
  • Crystal Diamond
  • Pink Crystal
  • Crystal Gold

Lip Gloss Trio ($40.00)

  • Marina Pink Sheer Lip Gloss
  • Pink Blossom Lip Gloss
  • Cocoa Sugar Shimmer Lip Gloss

Tube Tint Trio ($28.00)

  • Twilight Shimmer
  • Blossom Tint
  • Cherry Tint

Black Plum Deluxe Beauty Trunk ($500.00)

Sure to be a favorite among all Bobbi Brown devotees. This ultra luxurious Beauty Trunk is a refined and luxurious way to house and display your makeup. Interior features a mirror and several levels to organize beauty essentials, tools and skincare. Neiman Marcus exclusive.

Availability: BobbiBrownCosmetics.com

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