Monday, August 9th, 2010

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Blue Dahlia: Surreal Violet

Estee Lauder Surreal Violet Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.3 fl. oz.) is a gray-toned pink-mauve with copper-bronze shimmer. It’s a little on the sheerer side with two coats, but it was nearly opaque, so I left the swatches with two–but you could probably do a third for a totally opaque result.  The formula itself wasn’t too thick or thin and applied smoothly without any issues.  Drying time seemed average, and there was a soft glossy shine, but I’d still recommend a top coat.

The amount in the bottle is a little below average, I’d say, while the price tag is a bit hefty.  Those with larger collections may want to add this more unique shade to their stashes, but if you’re just building up your collection, this may be too much on the expensive side.  You can grab Illamasqua ($14/0.5 fl. oz.), NARS ($16 for 0.5 fl. oz), and Lippmann ($18/0.5 fl. oz.), which are all stellar polish brands, and get more for your money.

I would also like to give this polish props for being utterly difficult to photograph in natural light — thanks a lot! What a diva on set!

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 6 /10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Those who are fans of greiges and purples may find themselves in love with this mix of both!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Monday, August 9th, 2010

Benefit Lala Land Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Benefit La La Land Lipstick

Benefit La La Land Lipstick ($18.00 for oz.) is a pinky-brown nude with full-color coverage and a light, glossy sheen and no perceptible shimmer.  I love this with a lighter smoky eye or paired with greens. It’s dark enough to be worn on its own for a pop of color on lips, but it’s light enough to complement heavier eye looks, too.  Benefit’s lipsticks are very moisturizing and creamy, so they’re comfortable to wear, and they last about three to four hours on my lips.

Is this the right deep nude 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, August 8th, 2010

Guerlain Teint Rose Meteorites

The Trifecta of Guerlain’s Meteorites: Teint Rose

Guerlain Teint Rose Meteorites Powder ($56.00 for 1.05 oz.) is the last of the three new, reformulated Meteorites powders we have to review.  Previously, we reviewed Teint Beige and Teint Dore.  These can be used as highlighters or all over the face–less for setting, more for an all over glow.  Guerlain makes a Meteorites brush, but you can use any blush or highlighting brush to swirl in the pot for application.

According to Guerlain…

Harmony 01 / Teint Rose corrects by using mauve to reflect light and brightening the complexion along with green to reduce redness; pink to give skin a more even look; and white for illumination, gold for “radiance.”

This particular Meteorite has a blend of champage, white, yellow, green, pink, and purple pearls that create a soft, subtle micro-shimmered glow.  It’s a very silky and finely-milled product–this is not powdery, heavy, or cakey.  It doesn’t feel heavy, and it never looks unnatural.

Admittedly, it is difficult to see the nuances between the three Meteorites.  Even in person, they don’t look terribly different on me when applied.  Teint Rose is less golden, more white/champagne shimmer, while Teint Dore is a little more golden-bronze, and Teint Beige is is still a bit bronze but less yellow.  After seeing all three in person, I think  any one of them would be appropriate across skin tones and undertones.  They effect they have is so subtle, I can’t imagine any looking bad because of skin tone.

Still loving the totally upgraded Meteorites packaging, too!

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

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

Recommendation: It’s always nice to see a brand maintain or improve a product, particularly when they’re changing such a cult favorite! If you already have the previous versions of Meteorites, you may find this shade redundant, but if you don’t yet have Meteorites in your stash, you should take a gander next time you’re at a Guerlain counter.

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora

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Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Burberry Almond (06) Eyeshadow
Burberry Almond (06) Eyeshadow

Burberry Almond (06) Eyeshadow ($29.00 for 0.088 oz.) is a soft, medium brown with just a touch of warmer, more golden undertones, but very subtly so.  This would make a great contouring shade for those with fairer, paler skin, and it would work well as an all over color on medium to medium-dark skin tones.  It pairs well with Trench for a quick neutral eye.

The texture is soft and smooth–buttery and feels like silk.  It adheres well to the lid, over a base or without, though I haven’t worn it sans a base for twelve hours or anything (I always prefer a base–it feels like I’m committing a cardinal sin otherwise!).  It’s pigmented but it’s a buildable shade–you can sheer it out with ease for a very soft look or apply in layers for something deeper.  Burberry eyeshadows uncomplicate makeup; it’s hard to go wrong if you use their shadows.  I also like the amount you get for the price tag; a little more than the usual high-end shadow.

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: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like subtler color and enjoy soft, buttery textures, you may like Burberry eyeshadow.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Sunday, August 8th, 2010

MAC Odyssey Lipstick

The Sultry Season: MAC Odyssey Lipstick

MAC Odyssey Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is an opaque, berry-wine with a frost finish.  Odyssey is definitely a staple MAC shade for me–it’s perfect for the fall and winter, but it’s not too dark.  It’s a great choice for someone who doesn’t quite want to go ultra dark but still wants something with more depth than a milky pink, too.  It works well on both cool and warm skin tones, and it’s not overly frosty either.   During the holidays, you can add a little gold or red lipgloss to make it more festive.

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, August 8th, 2010

Make Up For Ever #37 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick
Make Up For Ever #37 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick

The New Lipstick on the Block

Make Up For Ever #37 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant shade of coral-pink with a satin finish; it’s almost fluorescent! It’s one of fifty shades launched by Make Up For Ever for fall (and the formula is permanent, just in case you were worried!). The Rouge Artist ranges from nudes to reds to vamps to corals–if there’s a color you seek, it’s hard to imagine not finding something to tickle your fancy within the range.

The formula is very opaque, and it’s not drying at all. It’s not a particularly creamy formula, though it looks like it when it’s applied. I’ve found that you need to apply a little more pressure than usual to get smooth, even color, and it doesn’t drag, but it doesn’t glide, either. I was expecting the formula to be a little drying, since it wasn’t incredibly creamy, but it wasn’t. I don’t think it imparts a ton of moisture, but it didn’t dry my lips out after four hours of wear. Speaking of wear, I got an average of four hours, with some shades extending to five or six, and several of them did stain, so they would wear a little longer.

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: If you’re looking for opaque color with minimal shimmer/frost, I think you may like Make Up For Ever’s new range.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

When Make Up For Ever sent over a few shades of Rouge Artist Intense, they also sent this cool “color” wheel–it shows four skin tones and four hair colors, and then you can move them to correspond with your characteristics to find the best shades for you. It’s totally awesome! I don’t know if Sephoras have it in-store or not, but it’s quite handy. I didn’t see any mention of it on Sephora (online), so I figured I’d type up what it says!

See more photos & swatches and shade guide! Continue reading →