Sunday, June 27th, 2010

MAC Chatterbox Lipstick

The Summer Season: MAC Chatterbox Lipstick

MAC Chatterbox Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.10 oz.) is an opaque, pretty-in-pink lipstick. It’s a smidgen on the cooler side, but it’s a rather neutral pink overall. It has a creamy feel while still clinging to lips–the slight creaminess keeps it from being drying. One of the best things about Chatterbox is it’s a standout pink, but it’s not bright, neon, or overwhelming in any way. It’s great with a lighter smoky eye, or you can slick on a sheer nude gloss to mute the color a bit more, too, and pair it with a smoldering eye!

Is this the right pink for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

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Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Raspberry Shimmer Lip Gloss
Bobbi Brown Raspberry Shimmer Lip Gloss

Bobbi Brown Denim & Rose: Raspberry Shimmer Lip Gloss

Bobbi Brown Raspberry Shimmer Lip Gloss ($20.00 for 0.14 fl. oz.) is a softened rosy brown with light pink micro-shimmer. It’s not at all raspberry on me (it’s not even very pink!), which was kind of disappointing as an avid consumer of raspberries (as in the fruit!).

One of the best attributes of Bobbi Brown’s lipgloss is they’re longer wearing than your usual lip gloss–I get around three to four hours myself. It’s a thicker, stickier gloss, and I’ve yet to run into an ultra opaque, pigmented shade–but this is the brand’s credo. (I’m actually surprised that these are touted as “non-sticky shine” on the brand’s website, because I find them rather tacky!)

I still have the same complaints I did the last time I reviewed the Shimmer Lip Glosses: not enough product for the price (why, by ounce, is it as expensive as Chanel?) and the plastic-bristled brush applicator doesn’t do it for me. I find it a little stubby and prickly; I’d prefer something with more length and softer feel.

I do love how long and well these lipglosses wear, though, and they’re great to layer over your favorite bolder, more opaque lipsticks for fun color combinations.   Luckily, I like my glosses stickier (always makes for longer wear), so I have no issues with the texture.  But I am finding it curious they’re supposed to be non-sticky.  Raspberry is surprisingly pigmented for the range–it’s semi-sheer to semi-opaque–and delivers nice, even color and shimmer coverage.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you like your lipglosses on the sheerer side and are looking for muted pinky-brown with a healthy dose of shimmer, Raspberry might be the shade your heart (and lips) long for. If you like your gloss non-sticky or opaque, I’d recommend you try before you buy.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Chanel Pink Explosion Blush
Chanel Pink Explosion Joues Contraste

Blush for Hire: Will Work for Smoky Eye

Chanel Pink Explosion Joues Contraste ($42.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a beautiful, decadent luxury of a blush in a brightened pink with just a hint of blue undertones. Chanel blushes have a cult following, with fans coveting each new shade the brand releases. I don’t think Pink Explosion disappoints–it is the most wearable of three new and limited edition shades releasing with the fall collection.

For those who don’t follow Chanel or rarely stop by the counter, let me tell you a little about what makes these blushes so loved. They are finely-milled, silky smooth powders that apply beautifully on skin. This is not a blush that will look chalky or powdery–it lays down on skin like it belongs there; the shades, no matter their hue, always look natural on cheeks.

Like any range, not all shades may work for all skin tones–some are on the lighter side–but Pink Explosion packs enough pigment to go bubblegum pink. It’s just as easy to create a soft, petal pink flush with just a tap of the brush. Pink Explosion has a soft white shimmer that is nearly undetectable once it’s applied. Instead, it gives off a lowkey, luminous glow. I’m hesitant to even call it a sheen, because it’s so subtle.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I really love it for neutral and cooler skin tones–it’s such a pretty pink. It will work on warmer skin tones, but I think it’s perfect cooler skin tones. For those with warmer skin tones, it pairs well with smokier, cooler-toned eyes.

AVAILABILITY: July 2010

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss
Urban Decay Lip Junkies: Midnight Cowboy, Naked, Runaway, Jilted, Perversion

Five Shimmery Shades from Urban Decay

Now, part two of new Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss ($19.00 for oz.)! This post features the shades: Midnight CowboyNaked (pink nude with pink shift), Runaway (shimmering deep coral), Jilted (hot pink with blue shift), and Perversion (sheer sparkling obsidian). (shimmering beige),

  • Midnight Cowboy is a sheer, pale champagne-shimmered gloss. It really has no color, but it adds some shimmer to lips.
  • Naked is a lightened peach-pink base with nearly iridescent pink micro-shimmer. The shimmer in this gloss felt smaller than Midnight Cowboy, and it has more of a reflective quality to it. This seems to be a your-lips-but-better kind of gloss–not a ton of color, some shimmer.
  • Runaway is a semi-sheer, light coral with white shimmer. The shimmer here is average in size and like Midnight Cowboy’s. This one delivered more color on lips as well.
  • Jilted is a semi-sheer fuchsia-pink with iridescent fuchsia-purple shimmer and a very glossy finish. It’s like a jelly pink base with pretty shimmer in it. It added more pink to my lips, but it’s a very wearable shade–don’t let the tube fool you.
  • Perversion is a blackened plum with almost silver shimmer. Like most dark glosses, it does settle into lip lines and may bleed on those who find themselves prone to bleeding lip color (I didn’t experience it myself). The color is semi-opaque, but it’s not an opaque black gloss at all, so never fear the way a product looks in the tube–at least not until you swatch it. Oh, and this will make your teeth look a little yellow.

Make sure you’ve read part one to get a full review of the formula and all that jazz!

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: This is a solid gloss, but I don’t think it’s necessarily groundbreaking, you know? It’s another good lip gloss that’s non-sticky, smells nice (much better than the creme brulee scent typical to Urban Decay lip products), and feels lovely on the lips.

AVAILABILITY: June 29th @ UrbanDecay.com; August 1st @ Sephora, ULTA, Macy’s, and Beauty.com

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss
Urban Decay Lip Junkies: Red Light, Crush, Peroxide, Wallflower, Heavy, Love Junkie

Say Hello to the New Gloss on the Block

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss ($19.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is an entirely new product line for the fall season. They’ve released eleven shades in total (WHY! eleven! Even Steven, please!), and I’ve split them into creamy shades and shimmery shades. This post features the shades: Red Light (sheer candy apple red), Crush (sheer coral), Peroxide (palest pink), Wallflower (medium nude), Heavy (shimmering nude), and Love Junkie (deep but very sheer wine).

  • Red Light is a semi-opaque apple red that’s not overly bright or in-your-face, since it’s not fully opaque. No distinguishable shimmer really–gives off a jelly kind of look. It’s actually not as red as it appears in the tube, so those who prefer lighter lip glosses, don’t despair from the tube alone!
  • Crush is a semi-sheer magenta pink. It’s almost like magenta met bubblegum pink, and then they had a lovechild. I don’t know why it’s described as a “sheer coral,” because I did not get any coral feel from this at all! It has the same jelly look as Red Light.
  • Peroxide is a pale, milky pink. I didn’t love how this looked alone on lips, just because the milkiness of it tends to emphasize lip lines as the product settles into them, and it’s difficult to make the gloss look even (see the lip swatch). I like that it’s pale and light without being ultra cool.
  • Wallflower is a nearly opaque shade of pink with a nude edge. It’s very wearable, and I think this would be universally flattering. It has only a little milkiness, but overall, it applies smoothly and evenly without a fuss. It is also one of the more opaque shades of the bunch.
  • Heavy is a darkened peach-nude with subtle white shimmer. In the tube, it looked pretty creamy to me, but it does have subtle shimmer in it. It is surprisingly opaque, and it has the best coverage and look overall out of all eleven shades–beautifully even and smooth while making lips look lush.
  • Love Junkie is a semi-sheer reddened plum (think the inside of a plumcot!). This one did have a tendency to settle into lip lines, but I didn’t find it terribly noticeable from an average viewing distance. It looked a little splotchy on my lips, though.

Lip Junkie has a jelly feel and the less shimmery shades look it, too.  They’re not nearly as thin as Pocket Rockets, but they don’t reach the weight or texture of XXX Shines, either–they’re a little jelly, not thick but noticeably not thin.  These glosses do include Maxi Lip, which is a lip plumper, and normally, my lips don’t seem to do well with lip plumpers–but I managed to get through swatching all eleven shades back-to-back without any damage to my lips.  (The last time I did a session of swatches of a lip plumper, my lips looked and felt like hell for a week–bleeding, peeling, and painful!)

There is a little tingle, but I wouldn’t call it a sting or a burn at all.  They smell quite peppermint-y, so I actually thought that it was just more of a cooling, minty tingle rather than a particular plumping ingredient like Maxi Lip.  It seemed to dissipate after a few minutes, and it really wasn’t that big of a deal.  The sensation was more noticeable than MAC’s Plushglasses (which I barely notice and thus rank lowest on the painful-lip-plumper scale–DuWop’s Lip Venom is the highest for me).  But then again?  I really didn’t see much, if any, plumping of my lips.  Pictures of my lips on the first swatch (Red Light) compared against to pictures of my lips on the last swatch (Perversion) didn’t show any plumping action.

These are non-sticky, peppermint-scented, sweet-tasting lip glosses with a medium thickness and a moisturizing, jelly feel.  I wore Naked (in the next post!), and it lasted a solid two hours, with it beginning to fade and become just a thin layer with some glossiness in hour three.  I did notice that these seemed particularly glossy, which helps give the illusion of juicier, plumper lips, too.

According to Urban Decay, the lip glosses are packaged in a single piece, rather than a lot of other squeeze-tube glosses which have a crimped end–and that crimped end can sometimes lead to lip gloss explosion extravaganzas in your purse or pocket (soooo not fun!).  The cap is metallic-looking but feels plastic and a little cheap to me.  I don’t love the way the packaging feels in my hands, but I do like that it feels solid and the cap screws-on and pulls off–both characteristics which should keep it from staying on your lips and not all over your bag!

I do like that these have good value in them–a little less than double of your average lip gloss (but in line with other squeeze-tube glosses like MAC Lipgelees and Make Up For Ever Glossy Full Couleurs).  I did find that I needed what seemed like more than the usual lip gloss for full coverage, but it didn’t seem or feel heavy or obnoxious in the amount I applied.

So here’s the rub:  these are supposed to plump, but I didn’t see any plumping.  Though Lip Junkies seem to be a perfectly good gloss, I’m just not seeing any results on something that the marketing material was really pumping up (you’re lucky I didn’t say plumping up!).  It purports to increase lip collagen by 40% in a month, and on the tube, it says “cools and plumps.”  If you’ve managed to read this far into the review–first, kudos–but more importantly, these are like B+ glosses; not perfect, not the greatest ever, but they’re good.  But since they don’t do everything they’re supposed to based on my experience, I have to lower the score down.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: This is a solid gloss, but I don’t think it’s necessarily groundbreaking, you know? It’s another good lip gloss that’s non-sticky, smells nice (much better than the creme brulee scent typical to Urban Decay lip products), and feels lovely on the lips.

AVAILABILITY: June 29th @ UrbanDecay.com; August 1st @ Sephora, ULTA, Macy’s, and Beauty.com

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

NARS Taj Mahal Blush
NARS Taj Mahal Blush

Orange You Glad for Blush?

NARS Taj Mahal Blush ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a vibrant tangerine orange with a soft, golden sheen.  It is pigmented to the max, as many NARS blushes are, but this one is even more so than the average NARS blush.  I found it really difficult to get the amount I needed, so keep a buffing brush on standby for quick fixes.

When worn lightly, it can be a beautiful shade of lightened peach-orange with a golden shimmer-sheen.  It looks absolutely gorgeous on warmer skin tones, especially those with deeper complexions.  It can, quite obviously, be built up for a very intense look, if so desired.  Texture is soft, smooth, and the blush looks luminous when applied to skin.  It gives skin an added warmth and subtle glow from the shimmer-sheen, and if you go easy, it’s very, very wearable and flattering.

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