Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011


Holiday Gift Guide: Must-Have Beauty Products for Lips

One of the things I am most thankful for is that by becoming a beauty blogger and having the opportunity to try so may different products is that it’s opened up my eyes to how many fantastic brands and formulas there are. Not every brand does everything perfectly, and there are a lot of great formulas that are just varying degrees of great. Picking a favorite really comes down to a less quantifiable factor, I think. It might be the color range, packaging, scent, or the overall feel. These are all lip products I personally recommend from brands’ permanent ranges.

Lip Balms/Treatments

  • Kiehl’s #1 Lip Balm ($7.00) is nice for those who prefer a thinner balm with no shine. It’s very, very slick and thin on the lips, but it does a good job at moisturizing.
  • Jack Black Lip Therapy Lip Balm ($7.50) is my all-time favorite lip balm, and I have them all over the house–at my desk, purse, pocket, nightstand–and a stock pile of them in reserve. So, so hydrating and comfortable to wear. My favorite flavor is Lemon & Chamomile, with Original as a runner-up.
  • Philosophy Lip Shines ($10.00) are kind of a balm, kind of a lip balm; because they tend to run so sheer and have the thicker feel of a balm, I’m going to go with it as a lip balm! I like that they’re fragranced with Philosophy’s signature scents plus have some shimmer and shine.
  • Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment ($22.50) is a decadent balm that works well but wears away quickly–I like the product, not so much the price tag and how quickly it finishes, though! They do have tinted versions, though, and they’re some of the better lip stains because they’re more hydrating, but they are prone to uneven fading.
  • Sara Happ The Lip Scrub ($24.00) is my favorite lip scrub, because it holds together well, exfoliates lips, and leaves them feeling soft and moisturized.
  • Guerlain Terracotta Baume Au Couer Lip Balm ($30.00) is tinted and feels like butter on lips; it wears for a few hours before disappearing, but it’s moisturizing the entire time.
  • La Mer The Lip Balm ($45.00) is probably the priciest lip balm I’ve ever used, but it really does work well. It hydrates lips while still wearing well (you won’t have to reapply every hour).

Lipsticks

  • CoverGirl Lip Perfection ($6.99) is really rich in color, glides on easily, and wears for hours. The downside is the scent, so if you’re super sensitive to smells, you might look elsewhere, but these perform well overall.
  • Maybelline ColorSensational Lipsticks ($8.29) is a good go-to for a more affordable lipstick brand, and of course, like other drugstore brands, you can catch it on sale for much less than $8 a pop. I find the creamier shades are the best!
  • MAC Lipsticks ($14.50) straddle that price point that doesn’t quite break the bank, feels a little more high-end than some drugstore brands, and is an all-around good formula. Their range is one of the most extensive that I know of, and with that, does come some inconsistency–not every single shade is as great as the last, but they do have several favorites. Some of these include Angel, Russian Red, Girl About Town, Crosswires, Sweetie, Cosmo, Plumful, and Media–just to scratch the surface.
  • Korres Mango Butter Lipsticks ($18.00) are lightweight, comfortable to wear, and come with a fairly glossy finish and semi-sheer color. Shades like Natural Pink and Natural Purple are really easy to wear.
  • Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Colors ($23.00) are long-wearing, opaque, and comfortable to wear. For cooler skin tones, try Bare Pink, Cosmic Raspberry, and Mod Pink. For warmer skin tones, try Cosmic Raspberry, Soft Coral, and Sweet Nectar.
  • Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani Lipsticks ($30.00) are creamy, moisturizing, and long-wearing while delivering good color coverage in over forty different shades. Shades like #400, 402, 501, and 506 are really easy to wear on most skin tones.
  • Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipsticks ($30.00) are rich in color and long on wear. For cooler complexions, I think shades like Ballet, Edition, and Fresco would work. For warmer complexions, try Edition, Muse, and Whisper.
  • Dior Rouge Dior Lip Colors ($32.00) is long-wearing and moisturizing with a wide range of shades. For warmer complexions, I recommend shades like Pink Songe, Andalouse, and Red Muse. For cooler complexions, I recommend Pink Caprice, Devilish Pink, and Daisy Plum.
  • Guerlain Rouge Automatique Lipsticks ($35.00) come really close to the Rouge G formula, but they are slightly less creamy, sometimes less opaque, and a smidgen less hydrating. They are really close but there is a noticeable difference on lips. I still really love the formula, though! For cooler complexions, I recommend Samsara, Cherry Blossom, and Champs Elysees. For warmer complexions, I recommend Violette de Mad, Rouge d’Enfer, and Coque d’Or.
  • Guerlain Rouge G Lipsticks ($47.00) is my all-time favorite lipstick formula, because it’s long-wearing, opaque, moisturizing, and the color range is really nuanced. For cooler complexions, I like Galia, Greta, Gabrielle, and Grenade. For warmer complexions, I like Galante, Gala, Gipsy, and Ginger.
  • Cle de Peau Beaute Extra Silky Lipstick ($52.00) feels like glossy silk on the lips; it’s super moisturizing and has a glossy shine. It wears well on me, too, despite how creamy it is. The shade range is really wearable and mostly universal, too.
  • Cle de Peau Beaute Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00) is a decadent formula that’s rich in color, comfortable to wear, long-wearing, and has a formula that helps to plump and fill lip lines giving lips a smoother look. It’s totally over the top, but it’s an excellent formula, so you’re not just paying for brand name/packaging here.

Lipglosses

  • Revlon Super Lustrous Lipglosses ($6.99) is a budget-friendly shimmery gloss that’s mostly sheer but delivers a fair amount of sparkle and dazzle. Like other sheer formulas, the range should work across skin tones.
  • Korres Cherry Oil Lipglosses ($17.00) are hydrating and comfortable tow ear, and about half the range delivers richer color, while others are sheerer (and are described as such). My favorites are #52, #52, and #22.
  • Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lipglosses ($18.00) is a really wide range of glosses with three different finishes. I really like how Make Up For Ever has expansive color options for most of their products, and the lipgloss range is no exception.
  • Illamasqua Intense Lipglosses ($20.00) are a total must if you or someone you know loves opaque lipglosses–these are really rich in pigment, comfortable wear, long-wearing, and have a beautiful glossy shine. I recommend virtually all of them, but a few of my favorites are Belladonna, Hermetic, and Move.
  • Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipglosses ($23.00) are a new favorite for me; they’re very reminiscent of Chanel Glossimers but more affordable. Sheerer color with lots of dazzling sparkle! Because they’re on the sheerer side, the shade range is fairly universal.
  • Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lipglosses ($28.00) are super slick, comfortable to wear, and moisturizing. Some shades are sheer, some are more pigmented. Shades like Siren are beautiful and opaque with a really interesting metallic finish. Fortune is a great shade for everyone because it’s sheer and peachy-pink.
  • Giorgio Armani Gloss d’Armanis ($28.00) may not be as long-wearing as the brand claims, but a gloss that wears six hours without drying lips out while delivering good color coverage is rare. I really love this formula, despite the shortfall in wear (relative to their claim). I love shades like #401, 402, 404, and 505.
  • Chanel Glossimers ($28.50) are a classic gloss for someone who loves lots of shimmer and glossiness. These took me awhile to appreciate, but they really do shine and sparkle. These days, most shades are sheer, so they should flatter the full spectrum of skin tones. I really like shades such as Aurore, Coral Love, Futile, Meteore, Spark, and Sundress.
  • Le Metier de Beaute Lip Cremes ($36.00) are extremely creamy, non-sticky, and hydrating. It was one of my first high-end glosses (and probably high-end purchases in general)–who knew that $36 would become “normal” to me one day–and I absolutely love shades like Fraise Creme, Framboise Creme, and Papaye Creme.
  • Cle de Peau Beaute Lipglosses ($48.00) wear longer than the average gloss, have a great shimmer and shine, and are moisturizing. May I recommend #2? It’s a total staple for me.

What are your favorite permanent lip products?

Saturday, June 11th, 2011


Philosophy 25% Off Friends & Family Sale 2011

Now through June 16th, you can get 25% off any online order at philosophy.com with code PHILOSOPHY25.  You can also get 5% cash back through Ebates.

*promotional disclaimer: enjoy 25% off of any online order. must enter promotion code “philosophy25″ on shopping bag page prior to proceeding to checkout to redeem. the promotion is valid for all sales completed between june 11 (12:00 am est) and june 16 (11:59 pm est), 2011. this promotion is not valid on prior orders. this promotion may not be combined with other promotional offers. promotional offers or discounts may not be applied to the purchase of a philosophy.com e-gift card.

Are you taking part? If so, tell us whatyou get!

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Philosophy Butterscotch Bliss Shower Gel
Philosophy Butterscotch Bliss Shower Gel

Rich Comfort with Butterscotch Bliss

Philosophy Butterscotch Bliss 3-in-1 Shower Gel ($16.00 for 16 fl. oz.) is rich and buttery with a swirl of vanilla sweetness.  It smells exactly like hard butterscotch candies.  This is definitely a food scent, and it is pretty sweet, though not nauseatingly so.

my thoughts on the formula: They lather up well and leave skin feeling clean without any tightness or dryness. If you prefer your body wash to leave behind a long-lasting scent, these won’t be for you, but if you like to enjoy the scent while you shower but don’t want it to linger heavily beyond, then these are perfect. (I belong to the latter category!) I don’t find them to lather quite as well in the hair, and they work in a pinch to clean hair, but I prefer many other shampoos over this one. It does, however, work well as a bubble bath, too–a little goes a long way.

final thoughts: Philosophy hit the scent of butterscotch dead-on, and if that’s a scent that appeals to you, I think you’d love this.

where to buy: Philosophy

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Philosophy Orchid Blossom Shower Gel
Philosophy Orchid Blossom Shower Gel

Spring Florals with Orchid Blossom

Philosophy Orchid Blossom 3-in-1 Shower Gel ($16.00 for 16 fl. oz.) is soft, sweet floral that bursts with fragrance as soon as it lathers up but doesn’t linger on the skin.  The overall scent seems lighter and subtler than many other Philosophy scents, particularly their food-based scents, though still seemingly less fragrant than ones like Unconditional Love.

Philosophy describes the scent as:

inspired by the delicate essence of orchid blossoms, this shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath embraces classic beauty and elegance. the extra rich and creamy formula provides a moisturizing lather that caresses your body as it gently cleanses and softens skin and hair. the delicate, whispering scent of orchid blossoms inspires a compassionate, beautiful experience that is meant to be cherished.

my thoughts on the formula: They lather up well and leave skin feeling clean without any tightness or dryness. If you prefer your body wash to leave behind a long-lasting scent, these won’t be for you, but if you like to enjoy the scent while you shower but don’t want it to linger heavily beyond, then these are perfect. (I belong to the latter category!) I don’t find them to lather quite as well in the hair, and they work in a pinch to clean hair, but I prefer many other shampoos over this one. It does, however, work well as a bubble bath, too–a little goes a long way.

final thoughts: It’s a pleasant floral scent, and out of the four spring offerings from Philosophy, I think this is probably the best – it has enough strength to make for an enjoyable shower.

where to buy: Philosophy

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Philosophy Orange in Bloom Shower Gel
Philosophy Orange in Bloom Shower Gel

Spring Florals with Orange in Bloom

Philosophy Orange in Bloom 3-in-1 Shower Gel ($16.00 for 16 fl. oz.) is a companion to Cherry in Bloom, but it is noticeably more fruit-dominated than the latter.  Initially, it smells like a burst of orange creamsicles.  I don’t mean that in a bad way but that is exactly what it reminded me off: the sweetness of vanilla mixed with the citrus of orange.

Philosophy describes the scent as:

orange in bloom shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath showers you in the delicate, citrus essence of orange blossoms as you lather from head to toe.

It seems too heavy with orange to mimic the orange blossom scent–the florals don’t sing quite enough here.  After lathering for a few minutes, the sweetness seems to disappear and then I get hints of the underlying floral quality of the scent.

my thoughts on the formula: They lather up well and leave skin feeling clean without any tightness or dryness. If you prefer your body wash to leave behind a long-lasting scent, these won’t be for you, but if you like to enjoy the scent while you shower but don’t want it to linger heavily beyond, then these are perfect. (I belong to the latter category!) I don’t find them to lather quite as well in the hair, and they work in a pinch to clean hair, but I prefer many other shampoos over this one. It does, however, work well as a bubble bath, too–a little goes a long way.

final thoughts: If you like the scent of sweet oranges, perhaps orange creamsicles but something not quite as sweet, this might be for you. It’s less than full-blown orange food-based scent but not wholly reminiscent of orange blossoms.

where to buy: Philosophy

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Philosophy Cherry in Bloom Shower Gel
Philosophy Cherry in Bloom Shower Gel

Spring Florals with Cherry in Bloom

Philosophy Cherry in Bloom 3-in-1 Shower Gel ($16.00 for 16 fl. oz.) is another spring scent I spotted on Sephora that I had to try…

Philosophy describes the scent as:

cherry in bloom shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath showers you in the delicate, sweet essence of cherry blossoms as you lather from head to toe.

Like Lilac Blossom, the design of the bottle’s packaging along with the deep pink of the shower gel are well-done.  With Cherry in Bloom, however, the scent is more successful and in line with Philosophy’s formula, though I did feel like it was a bit subtle in comparison to the many other scent varieties I’ve tried by the brand.  Overall, it’s a light, sweet floral with a touch of brightness that accompanies the first bloom of spring.  It has an underlying current of the mix of sweetness and tartness of actual cherries that differentiates it from Lilac Blossom, which is also easily described as a sweet floral.

my thoughts on the formula: They lather up well and leave skin feeling clean without any tightness or dryness. If you prefer your body wash to leave behind a long-lasting scent, these won’t be for you, but if you like to enjoy the scent while you shower but don’t want it to linger heavily beyond, then these are perfect. (I belong to the latter category!) I don’t find them to lather quite as well in the hair, and they work in a pinch to clean hair, but I prefer many other shampoos over this one. It does, however, work well as a bubble bath, too–a little goes a long way.

final thoughts: I do not think this scent is particularly unique, but it is pretty and appropriate for spring.  True floral scent lovers may find the scent too subtle, though I personally preferred it as heavier floral scents tend to give me a headache.

where to buy: Philosophy