Tuesday, September 28th, 2010


Jo Malone for Holiday 2010

The door opens and you’re greeted by flickering candlelight and uplifting aromas…essences of warm amber, sweet orange, verdant pine and embracing eucalyptus. Pristine cream boxes, tied with crisp, black grosgrain ribbon, nestle beneath the tree. The holiday season has begun.

Customized Fragrance Combining Collection ($325.00 U.S. / $380.00 CDN) (November)

This beautifully presented, elegant collection of iconic Jo Malone fragrances celebrates the ar tistr y of scent. Choose two of your favourite Colognes from the complete Jo Malone por t folio of scents to become your ever yday essentials. Be inspired to mix, match and blend colognes and really enjoy tr ying many dif ferent fragrance combinations on the skin. Cologne 100 ml (x2) of customer’s choice, Cologne 9ml (x6) in Grapefruit, Lime Basil & Mandarin, Orange Blossom, Pomegranate Noir, Red Roses and Vanilla & Anise.

Deluxe Tea Box ($425.00 U.S. / $485.00 CDN) (November)

Elegantly understated, the Tea Box Deluxe Candle Collection brings a sense of refinement to the home. A suite of three Deluxe Candles are nestled in a beautifully textured cream-coloured box accompanied with a silver-plated wick trimmer and candle snuf fer. The Collection features Eau De Cologne, Parma Violets and Sweet Almond Macaroon.

Bath Oil Collection ($85.00 U.S. / $95.00 CDN) (October)

The Bath Oil Collection is an invitation to unwind. Beautifully presented in glass decanters, six distinct scents may be used singly or combined to capture the senses. The collection includes Grapefruit, Lime Basil & Mandarin, Orange Blossom, Pomegranate Noir, Red Roses and Vanilla & Anise.

Coloured Travel Candle Collection with Farrow & Ball ($95.00 U.S. / $138.00 CDN) (November)

This holiday season Jo Malone continues its par tnership with Farrow & Ball, colour exper t and supplier of elegant decorative paints. The limited edition collection combines three refreshingly scented coloured travel candles in Pomegranate Noir in Eating Room Red (No. 43), Wild Fig & Cassis in Pelt ( No.254) and Pine & Eucalyptus in Green Smoke (No. 47).

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Monday, September 27th, 2010

MAC A Tartan Tale Collection for Holiday 2010

U.S. Launch Date: October 28th, 2010 for Colour & Palettes; November 4th for Mini Sets

MAC’s holiday collection is always an expansive, kill-your-wallet-and-take-no-names kind of adventure. It includes a color collection as well as holiday kits, palettes, and sets.  

Lipstick ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • Cut-a-Caper Mid-tone peachy pink (Lustre) (Limited Edition)
  • The Faerie Glen Pale neutral pink (Lustre) (Limited Edition)
  • Deepest Wish Deep creamy red-brown (Amplified) (Limited Edition)
  • Full Fuchsia Bright blue fuchsia (Amplified) (Permanent at PRO)
  • Courting Lilac Sheer lilac mauve with soft gold pearl (Glaze) (Limited Edition)

Dazzleglass Creme ($18.00 U.S. / $21.00 CDN)

  • Radiant Jewels Dark sparkly magenta (Limited Edition)
  • Soft Dazzle Mid-tone peach pink with gold pearl (Limited Edition) (Repromote from Dazzleglass Creme, ’09)
  • Passing Fancy Bright orange coral with soft pearl (Limited Edition)
  • Lightly Prancing Light peach with gold pearl (Limited Edition)
  • Romancin’ Mid-tone lavender with multi-dimensional pearl (Limited Edition)

Eyeshadow ($19.50 U.S. / $23.50 CDN)

Each eyeshadow has a plaid pattern imprinted on the eyeshadow and is similar in size to Mineralize Eyeshadows.

  • Golden Crown Light gold with bronze Tartan striping (Limited Edition)
  • A Wish Come True Dirty mauve with bubblegum pink Tartan striping (Limited Edition)
  • Follow Your Fantay Mid-tone peach with chocolate Tartan striping (Limited Edition)
  • Enviably Fun Grass green with dark green Tartan striping (Limited Edition)
  • Semi-Precious Aubergine with chocolate Tartan striping (Limited Edition)
  • Glamora Castle Dark grey with teal Tartan striping (Limited Edition)

Pigment ($19.50 U.S. / $23.50 CDN)

  • Later Black with transforming purple pearl (Frost) (Limited Edition) (Repromote from Alice + Olivia)
  • Moonlight Night Blackened teal with teal pearl (Frost) (Limited Edition)
  • The Family Crest Blackened bronze with pearl (Frost) (Limited Edition)

Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • Petrol Blue Deep navy with pearl (Limited Edition) (Repromote)
  • Black Line Black with gold pearl (Limited Edition) (Repromote)
  • Undercurrent Teal with pearl (Limited Edition) (Repromote)
  • Black Swan Black with pearl (Limited Edition)
  • Lord It Up Bronze with pearl (Limited Edition)

Blush ($18.50 U.S. / $21.50 CDN)

  • Her Blooming Cheek Bright iridescent blue-pink (Satin) (Limited Edition)
  • My Highland Honey Bright coral with soft gold pearl (Satin) (Limited Edition)

Nail Lacquer ($13.00 U.S. / $15.00 CDN)

  • Sly as a Fox Creamy mid-tone russet/burnt red (Cream) (Limited Edition)
  • Style Clan Dark taupe with red pearl (Frost) (Limited Edition)

Check out more details! Continue reading →

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Illamasqua Ore Pure Pigment
Illamasqua Ore Pure Pigment

You’ll Need to See This to Believe It

Illamasqua Ore Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is one of those products that shocks and awes the minute you swatch it.  Ore is a medium-dark metallic bronze with soft red undertones, multicolored shimmer, and a dazzling sheen.  It’s like a metallic bronze base with Christmas (green, pink, gold shimmer flecks) strewn through it.  The frustrating part about this particular shade is it really needs to be seen to be believed.  It’s so luxe and full of depth, but it looks better in person than it does in photos.

I loved it patted atop a shimmery primer and blended up with nothing else, but it also works well to layer with or use alongside your favorite coordinating eyeshadows.  I had several people stop me when I went out with this look on to ask what I had on my lids (which is not the norm).  Over a stickier base, Pure Pigments can easily be used dry, but I do prefer using them wet, as they hold together and apply smoothly and vibrantly.

There are, however, two things about Illamasqua’s Pure Pigments that I don’t particularly like:  quantity and packaging.  As far as similar products, Illamasqua weighs in with a rather tiny amount (Make Up For Ever wavers between 0.07 and 0.09 oz., while MAC tops in at 0.15 oz.).   You don’t need much, so you won’t be finishing a Pure Pigment any time soon, but it’s still worth noting.

The other thing is the packaging, which I find cumbersome and a pain to open.  If you’re not careful, it’s easy to loose hold of it and see your precious 0.04 oz. pigment soar across the air.  (There is actually a bunch of Ore embedded in my carpet, because it happened yet again to me while photographing.)  My best advice for opening these is to wedge your nail between the lid and base and run it around the perimeter a bit, then pull it open.  This seemed to alleviate a lot of the fumbling.  When it comes to a loose product, I think a screw-top lid might be a lot safer for us clumsy folk.

So why not an A product? Because the quantity is well below average of other comparable, high-end brands and the packaging could be less prone to slipping out of your hands and losing half the product to your carpet, sink, or bathroom floor.  This is one of my favorite shades for fall, and I will be purchasing a back-up because it is that stunning.

P.S. — Sephora has it listed as a new shade, but it shows as “out of stock,” though I believe it just isn’t in stock yet.  If you can’t wait, you can get it directly from Illamasqua.

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Monday, September 27th, 2010

Illamasqua Viridian Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Viridian Nail Varnish

Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness: Viridian

Illamasqua Viridian Nail Varnish (£13.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a darkened teal base with lighter teal micro-shimmer; the teal leans towards the blue side, making it a cooler-toned teal. Funny enough, when the flash fired, it pulled out more of the green in the teal, but overall, it still pulls bluer-teal.

The formula and application was just like Scarab: smooth, even, intensely pigmented–one coat would likely be enough, though I did two in the swatches.

Viridian is also new for fall, but it looks to be permanent from what I can tell.

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

RECOMMENDATION: A very lovely shade and particularly flattering on cooler, paler skin tones as it leans blue.

AVAILABILITY: Illamasqua

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Sunday, September 26th, 2010

YSL Forbidden Burgundy Rouge Volupte Lipstick
YSL Forbidden Burgundy Rouge Volupte Lipstick

The Sultry Season: YSL Forbidden Burgundy Rouge Volupte Lipstick

YSL Forbidden Burgundy (12) Rouge Volupte Lipstick ($34.00 for 0.12 oz.) is an opaque, reddened plum with a glossy shine.  All Rouge Voluptes have this lightly sweetened mango-y scent (I note it as just generally, but my nose might not be sophisticated enough…), but I don’t notice any taste.  It’s moisturizing and wears four to six hours on me.

When I first tried Rouge Voluptes, they were one of the first high-end lipsticks I had ever tried, and I thought they were the bee’s knees. Over time, I’ve discovered lipsticks that I prefer (formula-wise), but Forbidden Burgundy is still one of my favorite shades of Rouge Voluptes. The Rouge Volupte formula is incredibly creamy, and while some of the lighter shades are almost thick in their creaminess, their darker, almost glossy, shades like Forbidden Burgundy are not.

I do recommend a lip liner on deeper shades like this one if you’re prone to your lip color bleeding, because the creaminess of Rouge Voluptes make it more likely to bleed.

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 →

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish

Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness: Scarab

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish (£13.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a fiery ruby red with copper and scarlet shimmer strewn through the color. It almost looks metallic but not quite. It’s a very cool shade with depth; I envision flames licking through the ruby red, because it just has on-fire look to it.   This shade was extremely rich in pigment–one coat was nearly enough, but I still wound up with two, just because it feels more complete (to me) that way.

Nonetheless, smooth, even application with no fuss.  The formula itself was of a medium-thick consistency–the norm for Illamasqua’s varnishes.  It has a slight shine in its natural finish, but I recommend a shiny top coat to really finish it.  I noticed very subtle brush strokes in close-ups, but everything looked pretty smooth at a normal viewing distance.  Illamasqua described this as a metallic, but it feels more like a shimmer with only a touch of metallic-ness.

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