Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

NARS Downtown Lipgloss
NARS Downtown Lipgloss

NARS Holiday 2010: Downtown

NARS Downtown Lipgloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a darkened mauve-plum with brightened fuchsia-plum shimmer. It has a high gloss shine, and it is surprisingly thick. I actually found this gloss to be rather thick and tacky, while NARS’ Lipglosses are known for their non-sticky texture. Stickiness aside, I really loved this shade–it seemed different than the usual plums. I loved that it was opaque, but the shimmer and shine almost made it seem metallic when worn.

The texture of this particular gloss felt so different from other NARS’ Lipglosses; the stickiness was one thing, but this was very thick, too.  I don’t mind a tacky gloss myself, but if non-sticky is a must-have, I would pass on this or else try it in-store first.  I did not notice any scent (plastic, wax, or otherwise), though.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you can handle very tacky gloss, this is a color worth checking out. It’s flattering on both warm and cool skin tones as well as paler and darker skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Tuesday, December 7th, 2010


Dior Spring 2011 Makeup Collection – Montaigne

Inspired by the elegance and refinement of Christian Dior’s original Paris boutique at 30 Avenue Montaigne, Dior’s new spring color collection features the iconic greys of the House of Dior paired with fresh, feminine shades of pink. In a very Parisian spirit, the new spring look incorporates the all tones of Avenue Montaigne on a perfect spring evening: smoky and pearly grey eyes subtly enhanced with powdery touches of baby and boudoir pink and a natural glowing complexion. The overall effect is very soft, very sophisticated and very Dior.

5-Colour Eyeshadow ($58.00)

  • Gris Gris (034)

5-Colour Designer Eyeshadow ($58.00)

  • Soft Pink Design (018) (Not at Sephora)

Crayon Eyeliner ($28.00)

  • Smoky Grey (077)

Rouge Dior Lipcolour ($30.00)

  • Spring Pink (540) (Not at Sephora)
  • Chic Pink (658) (Not at Sephora)

Serum de Rouge ($32.00)

  • Pink Coral Serum (240) (Not at Sephora)
  • Pinky Mauve Serum (460) (Not at Sephora)

Addict Ultra Gloss ($26.50)

  • Pink Veil (654)
  • Trianon Silver (707) (Sephora Exclusive)

Vernis ($21.00)

  • Gris Montaigne (707)
  • Pink Boa (349) (Not at Sephora)

Availability: Spring 2011

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Cosmopolitan Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Cosmopolitan Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Does Coral for Fall

Dolce & Gabbana Cosmopolitan (237) Classic Cream Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a vibrant coral with a softer orange undertone–it’s almost a true coral. It has a creamy finish and feel accompanied by a glossy shine. It applies easily and evenly with opaque color in a single layer. This shade would be flattering on warmer skin tones, especially those with yellow undertones.

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

RECOMMENDATION: Though it feels like a color that is really more suited for summer, Dolce & Gabbana seem to think otherwise, which gives me an excuse to rock coral even as the temperatures drop.  This is a shade that would work best on warmer skin tones, even better on darker skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: Saks

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Monday, December 6th, 2010

Urban Decay Greed Primer Potion
Urban Decay Greed Primer Potion

Urban Decay Spring 2011: Greed Primer Potion

Greed ($18.00 for 0.34 oz.) is new and not new — it is new because it is the first time it has been available on its own (and full-sized), but it was originally launched as part of Urban Decay Little Sins Eyeshadow Primer Potion Set.

  • Greed is a shimmering slightly pale gold with yellow undertones.

Even though I tested Greed previously for wear, I found the full-size version to be more pigmented and the overall finish of the product seemed different to me. I tested and photographed Greed just this past October, but the full-sized version has more of a metallic finish with a stronger sheen.

The finish is quite similar to Sin’s, but I specifically mentioned in the previous post on Greed that it had more of a shimmer than frost finish. Because Greed has more of a metallic finish, it reflects more light, but the color itself is still a beautiful pale yellow gold. I was, however, still able to wear Greed all day on its own or as an eyeshadow base without creasing.

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

RECOMMENDATION: I think warm-toned beauties will find this works really well as a base or an all-over color for quick looks.

AVAILABILITY: January 2011 at urbandecay.com, early February 2011 at Beauty.com, Macy’s, Sephora, ULTA

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Monday, December 6th, 2010

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils vs. Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils
Urban Decay Sin, NYX Yogurt, Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils vs. Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils

Though they seem rather similar on the surface and even at first glance, I think the shade ranges differ enough where there is less overlap than expected.  For instance, I could not find dupes for Urban Decay’s Midnight Cowboy, Clinic, Narc, or Lit at all.  However, I think that Urban Decay’s Sin and Clash definitely have dupes, while Delinquent has something similar but there is a noticeable difference in quality that makes them different.

I think that Rehab and Barracuda may also lack dupes, but I do not have the appropriate NYX shades to tell you for sure.  Mercury and Wasteland may have dupes, but again, I can’t say for sure.

  • Urban Decay Sin seems to be closest to NYX Yogurt, but the latter is darker and pinker.
  • Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy is also closest to NYX Yogurt but I would not consider them dupes–Midnight Cowboy is more of a gilded champagne-beige without the pink of Yogurt.
  • Urban Decay Clinic has no corresponding dupe in the NYX line. NYX lacks any teal shade.
  • Urban Decay Narc has no corresponding dupe in the NYX line. NYX Rocky Mountain Green is a cooler, brighter green, which may be more comparable to Urban Decay Graffiti (which is available as an eyeliner).
  • Urban Decay Clash is the one shade I found a strong dupe for, which was NYX Electric Blue, though the NYX version is not quite as bright and requires layering to achieve opaque color.
  • Urban Decay Delinquent is similar to NYX Purple Velvet but the swatch will show you how different the pigmentation is between the two of them. Urban Decay’s is significantly more pigmented, and it is more of a jewel-tone purple with less red in its base.
  • Urban Decay Lit is a softer, lighter version of NYX Pure Gold, which is much more of a coppery gold.
  • Urban Decay Morphine is is a darker version of NYX Oyster, and it also has more of a purple tone, while Oyster pulls pinker.

I don’t have all of NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencils, but based on Dusty’s swatches that he did for Temptalia back in April, here are my thoughts on some possible similarities:

  • Wasteland and/or Rehab may be comparable to Iced Mocha, which looks like it runs lighter and perhaps not as dark.
  • Mercury may be comparable to Pots and Pans, but it looks a little darker.
  • Barracuda may be comparable to Slate, which looks like it has a bluer cast (less of a silver-gray).

What about the formulas?

Generally speaking (and based on the eight or so NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils I own), NYX has a creamier, more emollient base, which is likely why more people have experienced creasing when using them alone and/or as a base.  (You can always remedy this by using an eyeshadow base underneath the pencil itself.)  Keep in mind, also, that Urban Decay’s 24/7 Shadow Pencils are still very much untested by the makeup community at large–I can only report on my experience, but I have rather normal lids (neither dry or oily).

Some shades have excellent pigmentation and go on beautifully while other shades do look sheerer when swatched against Urban Decay’s.  NYX take longer to dry, so you have more time to work with them and blend them, but it may also mean they have more time to settle into creases and lines on the lid.  Urban Decay’s seem to take more elbow grease to remove (just using a makeup remover wipe) than NYX’s. Urban Decay also specifically calls attention to the fact that their pencils are free of parabens and mineral oil, both ingredients found in NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencils.

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Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Shiseido PK 327 Lipstick
Shiseido PK327 Lipstick

Going Natural: Shiseido PK327 Lipstick

Shiseido Tender (PK327) Perfect Rouge Sheer Lip Color ($25.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a beautiful petal pink with yellow undertones. Despite being part of Shiseido’s “Sheer” line, it adds quite a bit of pink to my natural lip color, plus a glossy shine. It’s by no means opaque, but the color itself is definitely there. It’s moisturizing and applies evenly, though it wears for about three hours before beginning to fade. It is also scent- and taste-free.

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

RECOMMENDATION: For a soft, everyday kind of pink, PK327 works perfectly!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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