Monday, January 17th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Desert Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Classic Cream Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a burnt caramel sugar bronze with golden bronze sheen and shimmer. It’s semi-opaque, and it doesn’t apply as evenly as I’d like.  I’m also surprised that this is a Classic Cream finish, because it has the shinier finish found in their Shine Lipsticks.

I get an average of four hours of wear with Dolce & Gabbana’s Classic Cream Lipsticks, and I find them comfortable to wear, but I would not describe them as moisturizing (but not drying either). All Dolce & Gabbana’s lipsticks are heavily rose-scented, and I do consider them some of the heaviest scented products I’ve come across. If you aren’t keen on roses, you may find these too strong.

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I wish it applied more evenly, because then it could be a really nice shade.  This is a shade actually works well on both cooler and warmer skin tones; cooler skin tones will appreciate the more neutral tone of it (the traditional warmth accompany bronze and copper is lessened in this shade), while warmer skin tones will find their warmer under tones pull out the copper in the lipstick itself.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Make Up For Ever #12 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick
Make Up For Ever #12 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick

Make Up For Ever #12 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick

Make Up For Ever #12 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a darkened magenta pink with a frosted finish.  Because of the drier formula, the frost finish is particularly harsh and noticeable, so this is a shade that I like mixed with either balm, clear gloss, or some other lip gloss to give it a smoother look overall.  It’s almost a matte-frost, actually.  This shade really clings to lips, and it was a touch drying for me after five hours of wear.

About the Formula:  The Rouge Artist Intense formula is typically opaque, and while it’s not a moisturizing lipstick, it’s not a drying one either (but #12 was a bit drying after a few hours for me), though it does not feel creamy against the lips (it may take a little more pressure to apply than your average lipstick). With lighter shades, I see four hours of wear, but with this brighter shade, I get around five to six hours of wear.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a pink that will suit cooler skin tones particularly well, but warmer skin tones should be able to wear it.  Try pairing it with a cool pink cheek and purple eyeshadow.  I do not recommend this particular shade to anyone with dry or cracked lips.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner
Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner: White & Lilac

Dolce & Gabbana Secret Garden: Lilac Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana Lilac Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.054 oz.) will see the introduction of two new shades, White and Lilac from Dolce & Gabbana’s Secret Garden Collection, which should hit Saks counters and online soon.

  • Lilac is a vibrant blue-violet with a fuchsia-violet undertone. Unfortunately, it is a pain to work with–there is no creaminess, so the color drags and skips when applied. I really wanted to wear it, but I could barely get it to show up, even after working the tip down a bit.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Eyeliners are hit or miss for me; they’re often too hard, so they lack enough creaminess to enable the eyeliner to apply smoothly and evenly. They don’t glide-on, and instead, they can tug on the lash line or skip when applied, which results in an uneven, splotchy look.   Lilac just did not work for me at all; what I managed to apply wore okay for about four or five hours, but it was so faint and sheer.

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  • Product: 16/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s such a shame that it doesn’t apply evenly nor have enough creaminess to glide on and deposit pigment intensely.   It’s a beautiful color but not worth picking up based on a rougher texture, below average wear, and sheer color.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner
Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner: White & Lilac

Dolce & Gabbana Secret Garden: White Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana White Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.054 oz.) will see the introduction of two new shades, White and Lilac from Dolce & Gabbana’s Secret Garden Collection, which should hit Saks counters and online soon.

  • White is exactly as it sounds–it’s a bright, creamy white and is one of the creamiest liners I’ve tested from Dolce & Gabbana’s range.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Eyeliners are hit or miss for me; they’re often too hard, so they lack enough creaminess to enable the eyeliner to apply smoothly and evenly. They don’t glide-on, and instead, they can tug on the lash line or skip when applied, which results in an uneven, splotchy look.

Note, however, that White didn’t have the poor texture that plagues many other Dolce & Gabbana eyeliners–it was very creamy and pigmented; it was easy to work with. This is why I don’t like to combine reviews, because unless a product line is very consistent, there can be enough variance that each product will earn a different grade–and this is exactly why I split this post into two separate ones, even though their content is very similar.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: White looks rather stark on my medium skin tone, so I’m not sure what skin tone this would be ideal for–it is a very bright white, and could offer a lot of contrast for the right look. While it is creamy, I wouldn’t necessarily use it as an eyeshadow base. It wore for only six hours though, before fading away.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Clarins Red Prodige Rouge Prodige Lipstick
Clarins Red Prodige Rouge Prodige Lipstick

Clarins Rouge Prodige Lipstick: Red Prodige

Clarins Red Prodige Rouge Prodige Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a bright, tomato red with a high shine finish and nearly opaque color. The color glides onto lips effortlessly, and it leaves lips with this rich, vibrant color that seems to melt on lips.

About the Formula: Rouge Prodige has a shiny, glossy finish, and it doesn’t feel like the traditional long-wearing lipstick does. There is nothing drying about it when you apply it, because it applies like a thin gloss or a gloss/lipstick hybrid. The color pay off is excellent, though, and really delivers opaque color with a lightweight feel. It doesn’t transfer much when drinking from a glass, but for whatever reason, the wear doesn’t extend past four hours. It is a comfortable lipstick to wear, because it doesn’t cling or dry lips out (but while it has a glossy feel when applied, I do not find it moisturizing). There is a faint sweetened berry scent that is detectable but not overpowering (and doesn’t read synthetic or syrupy sweet), and there was no noticeable taste.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: If it stayed true to its claim of long-lasting lip color, I’d definitely give it a higher score. It’s a great lipstick, but it does fall short on wear (four hours, which is average for me). This kind of red works best on neutral to warm skin tones, because of the slight orange base.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Hourglass Gypsy Eyeshadow Duo
Hourglass Exhibition Eyeshadow Duo

Hourglass Exhibition Eyeshadow Duo

Hourglass Exhibition Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) contains a grayish plum mauve with a frost-metallic finish and a blackened burgundy eggplant with a frost-metallic sheen. Hourglass’ Eyeshadow Duos are such an underrated and under-appreciated product–the quality is absolutely phenomenal and the shades are infinitely flattering.

Selfishly, I wish they had about a dozen more duos, because their eyeshadows are easily some of the best I’ve come across–and better yet, the quality is fantastic across the range. There are no duds in their duo line-up. Soft, smooth as silk, and buttery texture paired with intense color pigmentation that glides on, blends effortlessly, and can be used wet or dry.

The $38 may seem steep, but don’t let it fool you: there are two full-sized (actually, more than that) eyeshadows inside. Each eyeshadow is 0.10 oz., which is double the average full-sized eyeshadow, for a total of 0.20 oz. The packaging is also this pewter bronze with a swivel top that reveals a mirror inside along with a pint-sized brush (with real bristles) that’s usable and not scratchy.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: Hourglass as a brand is underrated, but their eyeshadows are easily my favorite product from the brand. There is something to be said for a brand that puts out consistently high quality products with to-die-for textures. This duo will naturally flatter cooler skin tones but it is not so cool-toned that warmer skin tones will find it difficult to work with.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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