Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Dior Serum de Rouge Fall 2010
Dior Serum de Rouge: Pearly Pink (470), Radiant Pink (560), Ruby (870), Plum (880)

Creamy, Silky, & Pigmented – Too Good to be True?

This July, Dior will launch five new shades of Serum de Rouge ($32.00 each, 0.07 oz. each): Pearly Pink (470), Radiant Pink (560), Pink Diva (670), Ruby (870), and Plum (880). I tested four of the five new shades, but I’ve reviewed the Serum de Rouge formula before (here and here). Everything about the Serum de Rouge formula is incredibly nice–except the wear. These creamy, glossy lipsticks slide off my lips in under two hours (usually just over an hour). Given the small amount of product you get (about half the size of your average lipstick), frequent reapplication can run you through one of these a lot faster than you’d think!

  • Pearly Pink (470) is a semi-sheer rose pink with a glossy sheen. This is the sheerest shade of Serum de Rouge I’ve tried myself. It has subtle shimmer that’s really not noticeable. Pearly Pink is incredibly similar to Radiant Pink, though, except this shade is a little cooler in tone.
  • Radiant Pink (560) is a semi-opaque medium rose pink with a glossy sheen. It’s not too milky, but it’s not bright or bold–it’s very soft, but it imparts a nice natural pinkness to my lips. It reminds me of a pinker MAC Angel. It’s a little brighter, pinker, and warmer than Pearly Pink, but the two are quite similar.
  • Ruby (870) is a semi-opaque brightened, reddened plum with a soft glossy sheen. The glossiness in this shade seems a little more subdued in comparison to other shades in the formula, but it’s still there. The color itself is beautiful–very classy, perfect for fall, and sophisticated. Despite it not being full-color coverage, it applies smoothly and evenly.
  • Plum (880) is a semi-opaque reddened plum with a glossy sheen. Wait, does that sound familiar? While there is a noticeable difference between this shade and Ruby, it’s very slight. This shade is darker, redder, but it applied a little streaky for me.

The Serum de Rouge formula is soft, creamy, and very lightweight. It feels like a lipstick, but it has the glossiness of a lipstick without feeling like one. It doesn’t dry out lips, and the color pay off is quite good. Not totally opaque, but pretty rich and typically not very sheer. The formula is comparable to Cle de Peau’s Extra Silky Lipstick, but not as stellar–but very close (and $20 less!).

I did notice that the darker shades like Ruby and Plum seemed to stay on a little longer (a full two hours) and both took longer to fade (another hour or so) entirely, while lighter shades like Pearly Pink were almost entirely gone by an hour and a half.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t mind frequent reapplication of your lip color, Dior’s fall Serum de Rouge shades are an interesting, even if a little redundant, mix of colors that go from soft and wearable to darker and vampier.

AVAILABILITY: July 2010

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Paul & Joe Beaute #06 G Gloss

A Dalliance with Cute & Functional

Paul & Joe Beaute #06 Sheer Bliss Lip Gloss G ($22.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a new lip gloss for summer that’s available in ten shades — from gold to nude to cherry to clear. I tested out Sheer Bliss, which is a brightened orange-melon with multicolored shimmer. It has a nice, semi-opaque color coverage, and it looks very soft and natural on lips. It looks more like a soft pinky-melon when applied to my lips, and the iridescent purple shimmer seems to catch the light the most.

There’s a modest level of glossiness, and the wear is about average for gloss for me — two to three hours (not eating/drinking). Texture wise, the gloss is medium in thickness (not ultra thin, but not heavy or thick), non-sticky, and moisturizing. It’s lightly scented with melon, but I don’t notice the scent when wearing the gloss.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Based on this shade, I love that the gloss looks and feels like a gloss, but you still get a healthy dose of color pay off, too, so you can easily wear it alone or layer on top of lipsticks.

AVAILABILITY: Beauty Habit, DermStore

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Rimmel Eyeful Eye Glistener

Glossy Eyes?  One Slippery Ride…

Rimmel Eyeful Eye Glistener ($7.29) are great in theory, terrible in practice. I don’t usually use the word “terrible” to describe beauty products, because I don’t come across too many that merit such a negative descriptor. These are glossy pencils to give lids “vibrant, yet transparent” colour, and Rimmel says you can use it as an eyeshadow or eyeliner.

  • Stand Out is a sheer, golden-shimmered light olive green.
  • Talk to Me is a soft medium sky blue with a silver sheen.
  • Girls Only! is a peach-shimmered pale petal pink.

May all of the beauty gods and goddesses be at your side should you dare to use these as an eyeshadow! These slip and slide and crease and migrate all over the place. It’s like a waterslide adventure where the produce is in my lashes, glitter is on my cheeks, and my eyelids look more like an oil spill than beautiful and luminous. It looks awesome for the first few minutes, so I think for a photoshoot, they could work, if you were going for a sheer, glossy lid look. If you’re actually planning to wear these out of the house? Not so much!

Even applied over an eyeshadow base and “set” with eyeshadow, these still end up creasing within a couple of hours, and by setting with eyeshadow on top, you lose the glossy effect (so why bother?). They have a sticky texture, so eyeshadows adhere well to them, but I felt like it kind of gunked up my brush at the same time. I couldn’t find a way to make these creaseproof at all, unfortunately.

As an eyeliner, they definitely fair better, but I still found the liner migrated to the corners after two to three hours and some of the glitter fell under my eye. It’s a cool effect, and for a quick trip out, it could be worth trying. Girls Only! is a shade that could be used elsewhere on the face, like the cheeks, for a highlighter effect. It doesn’t seem to ever fully dry, so while you can get glistening cheeks, be wary of touching them. I’m not sold on using it elsewhere, to be honest, because it slips around so easily.

I didn’t get great pigmentation out of the three shades I tried–they were definitely on the sheer side–but according to Rimmel they’re supposed to be “vibrant, yet transparent,” which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

No, I’ll just stick with clear lipgloss if I want a glossy look–lasts about the same and sometimes a little longer.

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

  • Product: 7/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: For photoshoots or five-minute wear, maybe. As a novelty, maybe. I’d skip.

AVAILABILITY: CVS, Ulta, etc.

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Get Your Naked Palette!

Urban Decay’s Naked Palette now available @ Sephora! You can see my review & swatches here.

Monday, July 5th, 2010

NYX I Dream of St. Lucia Eyeshadow Palette

Budget Friendly Beauty:  NYX I Dream of St. Lucia Palette

NYX I Dream of St. Lucia Eyeshadow Palette ($8.75 for 0.28 oz.) is a tropical-themed palette with all of the fun, bright shades of the beach. It has a medium grassy green with a semi-matte finish, medium sky blue with a satiny feel, sunny, paled yellow with a frost finish, pop of bubblegum pink with blue undertones and a satin finish, and bright orange with a satin finish.

I love NYX as a brand that provides higher quality products at a very budget-friendly cost. I find NYX eyeshadows to be good but not great–they tend to be a little powdery and fade a bit on the lid. The powderiness can lead to a modest bit of fall out, though a small price to pay to keep within your budget! What’s great about this palette in particular is that I don’t have shades quite like these in some of my higher end brands, so it’s a nice way to complement and supplement my high-end collection, too.

All five shades were pigmented, though the green and blue shades easily faded if you overblended. The yellow and the orange had the best pigmentation, both vibrant with little product, and the yellow shade didn’t fade or sheer out at all (owes to the frost finish, I’d say).

Overall, it’s an excellent palette with good eyeshadows at an even better price. One thing I’d like to see is a reference guide as to what shades the palette actually contains – I couldn’t track down a list of what each was called. I only know that the palette contains some of the original, best selling NYX eyeshadows, but I’d like to know exactly which ones — NYX has so many, and it’s difficult to tell online!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re on a strict budget or you don’t want to shell  out $15-20 per eyeshadow to get your bright eyeshadow fix, NYX has you covered with their I Dream of St. Lucia palette.  Five brights for under $10–quite the steal.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Illamasqua Powdered Liquid Metal

Bronzed from Head to Toe

Illamasqua Thalia Powdered Metal (£22.00 for 0.52 oz.) is a golden bronze shimmered with gold with a soft, almost metallic sheen. It’s a loose powder that can be used alone or mixed with other products–it’s very much like any other multi-purpose loose color (e.g. Illamasqua’s Pure Pigments, MAC Pigments, etc.).

Thalia is a beautiful bronzer on medium to medium-dark skin, and it also works well as a light illuminator mixed with moisturizer or liquid foundation for those with medium to medium-dark skin. You can also throw it in your hair (try mixing it with shine spray), swirl it in a clear nail polish or creme-finish nail polish to frankenstein something new. It can also look pretty patted lightly on the center of lips over plums and reds finished by a quick slick of gloss.

A little goes a long way, and this is an incredibly finely milled powder, so it’s easy to use more than you need!   The packaging has a nice sifter on it, so it’s easier to control how much product comes out.  I like that you get plenty of the product without paying an arm and a leg, too. This is also a great body product for the summer, because you can dust it lightly on shoulders and legs (try it right after moisturizing, so it sticks better) for a subtle bronzy sheen.

Illamasqua also carries Bebhionn (soft pink shimmer) and Erzule (deep bronze shimmer).

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’d like a bit of faux glow tan without a lot of work, Powdered Metal definitely gets you there in a hurry!

AVAILABILITY: Illamasqua

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →