Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

NARS Vintage Nail Polish
King Kong, Mash, Zulu, Midnight Express, Full Metal Jacket

NARS Vintage Nail Polishes see the re-release of five coveted NARS shades. As of late last night, Zulu was back in stock, actually, though it was sold out for a time. These are all limited edition, and each shade retails for $16.

  • King Kong is a orange-toned molten copper bronze with copper shimmer threaded through the base color. This was the most pigmented shade out of the five; I used two coats. This applied evenly and smoothly, and it didn’t show brushstrokes too much for a metallic finish.
  • Mash is a darkened olive green base with green and gold shimmer that warm it up. This was my favorite color out of the bunch. You’ll definitely need three coats, and some brushstrokes ended up showing for me, so be patient.
  • Zulu is a deep, dark blackened green jelly. It’s very inky and solid and virtually black in low lighting. In the sunlight, the green of its base is more apparent. You’ll need at least three coats, if not four, to get full, opaque color. I’d also recommend slightly thicker coats, because those thinner coats seem to cause some streaking.
  • Midnight Express is a deep, dark blackened navy. Just like Zulu, this shade is mostly black in low light and brightens up to its bluer form in sunlight. I did three coats, but you may find four better. The application for this shade was exactly the same as Zulu for me.
  • Full Metal Jacket is a bluish silvered gray with silver shimmer. It is the most metallic of the five, and it is incredibly prone to showing brushstrokes. Patience is key with these kinds of metallics–you want to minimize the pressure and the number of times you brush the polish on the nails. Three coats.

The application issues make me wary of recommending these. Part of me wants to tell you to scoop up any shades that catch your eye before they’re sold out or gone for good, but the other part of me just wants to say, well, they don’t seem super-freaking-awesome as some shades have been hyped up to be. (Zulu, I’m looking at you!) It can be fun own a piece of history, as it were, though, and with some patience and a steady hand, all of these shades are workable. Mash and King Kong were good, while the rest were decent, so they kind of balance out. What also saves these polishes is that they’re not easy to dupe, which makes them even more covetable.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t normally purchase $16 nail polish, these might not be the best ones to go for first. They’re not as easy to apply as your average nail polish. Also, if you can’t be fussed to be careful and wait between coats, you’ll probably have a poor experience with these.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Estee Lauder Holiday 2010

Estee Lauder Pure Color Extravagant for Holiday 2010

“Fantasy, luxury and of course femininity were my inspirations for this Holiday collection. There are many lip and eye colors to play with and they all have a wonderful texture for an easy application.” — Tom Pecheux, Creative Makeup Director, Estée Lauder

This holiday season, Estée Lauder invites you to experience the intensely lavish, new luxury in cosmetics with Pure Color Extravagant by Tom Pecheux. Taking cue from the sophistication and contemporary glamour of the upcoming holiday season, Tom Pecheux created new looks for eyes, lips and nails that are layered with dramatic style and color. Luscious reds and opulent golds set the stage for a bold range of textures that wrap your features in alluring holiday elegance. Introducing Estée Lauder Pure Color Extravagant.

Eyes

  • Extravagant Gold Pure Color Five Color Eyeshadow Palette ($42.00)

Lips

  • Extravagant Gold Pure Color Five Color Lip Palette ($42.00)
  • Extravagant Red Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick ($22.00)
  • Extravagant Berry Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick ($22.00)
  • Extravagant Plum Pure Color Gloss ($20.00)
  • Star Ruby Pure Color Gloss ($20.00)
  • Electric Ginger Color Gloss ($20.00)

Nails

  • Extravagant Pearl Pure Color Nail Lacquer ($18.00)
  • Extravagant Night Pure Color Nail Lacquer ($18.00)

Availability: October 2010

See more photos, plus get details for holiday sets and compacts! Continue reading →

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Kat Von D Holiday 2010

Kat Von D for Holiday 2010

Painted Love Lipstick Set ($28.00)

Kat’s Tattoo Chronicles Lipstick set is the perfect kit for pulling off a rockin’ lip color for any occasion. These rich, long-lasting miniature lipsticks include two new colors to form a wide range of shades—from the perfect bold red to a stunning understated neutral pink. 6 x 0.042 oz Lipsticks in Rosary, Underage Red, Cathedral, Hellbent, Lolita, Celebutard

Tattoo Chronicles Palette – Volume 1 ($55.00)

Kat’s secret weapons for pulling off a long-lasting, rockin’ look come together in a beauty stash that includes false lashes, eyeshadows, and primers. Plus, a secret compartment reveals a hidden double-ended rollerball fragrance that embodies Kat’s two sides: saint and sinner. 1 pair False Eyelashes, 12 x 0.02 oz Eyeshadows in Tijuana, Taxidermy, Hollywood, Peanut, Redemption, Solitude, Heartkiller, Baudelaire, Monastary, Poe Blue, Nite Owl, Lemmy, 3 x 0.01 oz High Voltage Primers in Skin, Stellar, Smoky, 2 x 0.17 oz Double-Ended Saint/Sinner Rollerball

Availability: October @ Sephora.com

See more photos… Continue reading →

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Urban Decay Potion
Greed, Sin, Eden, Original

Urban Decay Little Sins Eyeshadow Primer Potion Set ($29.00) is new for the holidays and contains miniature sizes of the three existing Primer Potion varieties: Original (invisible), Eden (matte nude), Sin (shimmering champagne). It also contains a miniature size of a new and (currently) exclusive shade: Greed (pearly gold).

  • Greed is a shimmering slightly paled gold with definite yellow undertones. It’s not really an opaque base, and it’s not as pigmented of a base as Sin. It also has more of a shimmer than a frost base, unlike Sin. I think warm-toned beauties will find this works really well as a base as well as an all-over color for quick looks.
  • Sin is a beige-nude with a high frost sheen and champagne micro-shimmer.
  • Eden is a yellow-toned light nude with a matte finish.
  • Original is virtually invisible, though I’ve always found it has a slight shimmer to it.

I think one of the more frustrating marketing strategies that pops up during the holiday season is when a brand brings out one new, exclusive/limited edition shade amongst a set of several other permanent shades.  (And don’t get me wrong, many brands employ this strategy.)  I don’t want to have to buy the three other Primer Potions just so I can get Greed. This is how I end up with doubles or triples of certain eyeliners, pigments, etc. — none of which I’ve ever used up the original! I really do like Greed, though, so I’m crossing my fingers that Urban Decay releases it on its own.

I find that the Original Primer Potion has a tendency to crease on me after about seven hours, though Eden and Sin both seem to hold up better.  Greed didn’t give me any creasing problems after wearing it on three different occasions for over eight hours on each.

Each contains 0.13 oz., which means you’re getting 0.52 oz. of product in sum.  This translates to $55.77/oz. while a full-sized version ($18 for 0.34 oz.) goes for $52.94/oz.  It’s a nice opportunity for those who haven’t tried our the brand’s line of eyeshadow bases yet.  It may also be worth it for those who are devotees, because you’ll likely run through your tubes eventually and need replacements… ta-da.  Plus, the travel-sized versions may be more convenient for those treks to Mom and Dad’s house for holiday dinner.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: It really depends on two things:  whether you have any of the full-sized versions and how badly do you want Greed?  (I suppose I should have said how greedy are you to have Greed…)

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Hourglass Nocturnal Lipstick
Hourglass Nocturnal Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Hourglass Nocturnal Lipstick

Hourglass Nocturnal Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a softened raspberry pink with a subtle sheen.  It’s a rich, opaque shade that applies in just one or two layers (depending on the pressure).  It’s lightweight, moisturizing enough to wear for hours without needing gloss on top or balm underneath.  There’s a very faint vanilla scent but no taste. It is also supposed to be refillable, but I haven’t yet spotted refills available, though I have heard they are coming and will only be available via Hourglass’ website.

Hourglass touts the Femme Rouge line to be water-resistant, long-lasting, and moisturizing, and it delivers pretty well on all three points.  Just don’t interpret water-resistant as “I can drink a cup of coffee and no lipstick stains will be left on the cup,” because in reality, water-resistant really means water won’t make it slip off, but pressing your lips against a glass will.  It transfers a lot less than the average lipstick, and it does make it through a cuppa java well enough not to need reapplication.  Otherwise, it wears four to six hours on me, and my lips don’t feel dried out after wearing it for a full six hours.

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

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Too Faced Holiday 2010

Too Faced for Holiday 2010

Pixie Pin-Ups ($32.00)

A Pixie pop-up box featuring six eyeshadows, Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer, Lash Injection Pinpoint mascara, and Lava Gloss Eyeliner. Includes Eyeshadows in Leading Lady, I Know What Boys Want, Lucky Charms, Heaven, Like a Virgin, and Erotica.

Glamour to Go Fairy Edition ($19.50)

This super efficient set of eight long-wearing shadows, one silky lip gloss, a best-selling bronzer, and a soft, sheer blush are perfectly coordinated for a complete look or light touch ups. Packaged in a mirrored compact with a tiny slide-out drawer, it fits in even the smallest clutch for holiday parties, jet-setting, and more.

Cheap Thrills Set ($40.00)

This collection has got you covered when it comes to Too Faced beauty essentials. The Lip of Luxury in Free Love is a pink velvet, soft-as-satin lipstick with serious staying power and the Galaxy Glam Shadow in Amber Asteroid and Magenta Moon contain italian opalescent pigments that are baked into each silver-domed shadow that mix together to produce a multi-dimensional smoky-eye light speed ahead of any mere earthly cosmetic product. The Pinpoint Mascara in Pitch Black creates the dramatically long, extremely defined and separated lashes of your dreams and Mirror Mirror Gloss in I Know You Want Me is a super-shine lip gloss is infused with natural Goji Berry extract, one of the most powerful antioxidants found in nature. The travel-size Pink Leopard Bronzer combines gorgeous shades of golden bronzes, gilded pinks, and neutral fawns brighten the skin and create an all-over glow.

More sets & photos! Continue reading →