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  • MAC CosmeticsEarly access on 12/5 to MAC x Mariah Carey for Obsessed & Devoted members here, starts 12/05 and ends 12/07.
  • Macy's$10 off every $50 cosmetics & fragrance purchase, ends 12/08.
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Best Lipglosses | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

Best Lipglosses | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again:  holiday gift guides aplenty!  This year, I’ve broken out my gift guides into best of selections for blush, eyeshadow, highlighter, lipstick, lipgloss, palettes, and brushes.  These guides feature permanent formulas so that they can be useful anytime during the holiday season or even into next year.  For limited edition holiday products, you can check out our list of the top 50 highest-rated holiday products, which updates as I post more reviews for holiday products. Here’s a look at the best lipgloss formulas I’ve tried:

Anastasia Lipgloss

Anastasia Lipgloss

Anastasia Lipgloss ($16.00 for 0.16 fl. oz.) is supposed to be “opaque” with “high-shine” that’s “non-drying.” It is one of the more pigmented lipglosses out there that has a smoother, more cushion-y consistency that typically spreads well across the lips. My experience from wearing the formula is that they are often lightly to moderately hydrating and wear three to five hours. Check out our list of the top 15 Anastasia Lipglosses, plus here are of my favorite shades are: Weekend Barbie, Purple Rain, Orchid, and Warm Bronze.

Availability

Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s

Tom Ford Patent Finish Lip Color

Tom Ford Patent Finish Lip Color

Tom Ford Patent Finish Lip Color ($52.00 for 0.07 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a “lip stain with an ultra-glossy finish” that has “intense, vibrant color” and “long-lasting high shine.” The formula feels lightweight, almost watery, when initially applied but thickens and feels more like a moderately tacky gel after thirty to forty seconds. It has great staying power with the glossiness lasting for six hours and the color itself still going strong eight to ten hours later (after two meals and coffee)–by the end of the day, it has more of a natural sheen to it (like a lip stain) but looked even. It does stain as well. I would forget that I was wearing it, which is a testament to how comfortable and hydrating it is for all-day wear. The coverage is nearly opaque but has that slight translucency that you would expect to see in a lip stain. Some of my favorite shades are: Infamy and Red Corset.

Availability

Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks

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New for Holiday 2016 from Bite, BUXOM, Clinique, Sephora, YSL

More Holiiday 2016 Sets
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick Duo

More holiday sets have emerged!

Availability

Now online

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The Details

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick Duo | $14.00 | Limited Edition

Swipe on gorgeous lip color for every festive occasion with the Amuse Bouche Lipstick Duo. It features a signature Amuse Bouche shade with a limited-edition, foiled top coat that’s perfect for the holiday season. Available at Sephora.

  • Opal/Jam
  • Gold/Sour Cherry
  • Rose Gold/Fig
  • Bronze/Pepper

BUXOM Frozen Assets Mini Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick | $38.00 | Limited Edition

The Frozen Assets 8-piece Mini Big & Sexy Bold Lipstick Collection includes a range of nude to red shades in moisturizing matte and satin finishes in a lightweight, gel formula. Each shade delivers piercingly vivid, one-stroke color to shamelessly stand out. Available at Sephora.

  • 4 x 0.03 oz/ 1 g Mini Big & Sexy Bold Gel Matte Lipstick in Racy Reveal (matte warm light pink), Sinful Cinnamon (matte cinnamon brown), Ultraviolet (matte bright violet), Ruby Temptress (matte brick red)
  • 4 x 0.03 oz/ 1 g Mini Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick in Rebel Rose (satin rosy pink), Graphic Grape (satin deep purple), Forbidden Berry (satin deep pink), Fuchsia Fetish (satin hot pink)

Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip & Liner | $60.00 | Limited Edition

Get five matching sets of lip color and liner in glossy or matte finishes—plus two glosses and two enhancers—for a polished look that’s all your own. This 14-piece set features full and deluxe size bestsellers, including Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi Shine Lip Lacquer in Pretty Thing to Ciaté London’s Liquid Velvet™ in VooDoo. Available at Sephora.

  • 0.02 oz/ 0.75 g Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! double the lip in Fuchsia Fever
  • 0.07 oz/ 2 mL Buxom® Full-On Lip Cream in Kir Royale
  • 0.06 oz/ 1.77 mL Ciaté London Liquid Velvet in VooDoo
  • 0.12 oz/ 3.54 mL Estée Edit Lip Flip Shade Transformer in 02 Turn Down (full size)
  • 0.01 oz/ 0.25 g Know Cosmetics No Bleeding Lips™ Secret Lip Liner (full size)
  • 0.05 oz/ 1.49 g Laura Mercier Lip Pencil in Naked (full size)
  • 0.04 oz/ 1.4 g MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Rouge in M-401 MAT
  • 0.035 oz/ 1 g Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi Shine Lip Lacquer in Pretty Thing
  • 0.06 oz/ 1.8 g NARS Cosmetics Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella
  • 0.009 oz/ 0.27 g Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liner in Crimson (full size)
  • 0.05 oz/ 1.5 mL Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso
  • 0.001 oz/ 0.04 g Tarte tarteist™ Lip Crayon in Mood Ring
  • 0.08 oz/ 2.3 mL Too Faced Cosmetics Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick in Sell Out
  • 0.035 oz/ 1.2 g Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture in N° 70 Le Nu

YSL Lumiere Divine Highlighting Finishing Powder

YSL Lumiere Divine Highlighting Finishing Powder
YSL Lumiere Divine Highlighting Finishing Powder

YSL Lumiere Divine Highlighting Finishing Powder ($47.00 for 0.31 oz.) is a light beige with warm undertones and a satin finish. Colour Pop Releve (LE, $5.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). MAC Climax (LE) is more shimmery (95% similar). Chanel Jardin de Camelias (LE, $65.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Hourglass Incandescent Strobe Light (P, $38.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Tarte Glow (Tarteist) (LE) is lighter (90% similar). YSL Golden Contouring Highlight (P) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Tarte Highlight (Tarteist) (LE) is darker, warmer (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

It’s supposed to have a “lightweight” and “silky” feel that can be applied to the “cheekbones, on the bridge of the nose, under the eyebrows, and on the Cupid’s bow” for a “luminous glow.” As it has more of a satin sheen than overt shimmer, it can be used all-over, dusted across the face as a finishing powder (which is less about setting and more about adding luminosity back to the face, after applying setting powder). I suspect this will be best for very fair to light-medium skin tones for all-over use, as it lightens me skin tone just slightly if I use it all over. (For my skin tone, it worked better on the high planes like a traditional highlighter.) The texture was soft, smooth, finely-milled, and easy to diffuse and dust on the skin. It is a subtle highlighter if used on specific areas, and when I used it with a larger powder brush for all-over, it just made my skin look less dull and matte but not dewy or shiny. It didn’t impact the wear of my base products when used all over, and when I wore it as a highlighter on cheekbones, it lasted for eight hours.

YSL Highlighting Finishing Powder Lumiere Divine

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YSL Rosy Contouring Couture Contouring Palette

YSL Rosy Contouring (2) Couture Contouring Palette
YSL Rosy Contouring (2) Couture Contouring Palette

YSL Rosy Contouring (2) Couture Contouring Palette ($47.00 for 0.24 oz.) contains two powders–one for contouring, one for highlighting–in a slim, gold-hued (plastic) palette. The contouring shade is slightly larger in size compared to the highlighting shade. Like the Golden Contouring (1) Palette, I suspect this will be better suited and show more nicely on fairer complexions. The quality of this palette, however, is lower as the texture of the Contour shade is firmer and has less payoff while being harder to diffuse.

Rosy Contouring Contour is a muted, medium-dark rosy brown with subtle, warm undertones and a matte finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff, which was somewhat buildable, so this is going to be a product that is better suited for someone who likes sheerer coverage overall. The texture was firmer, a little stiffer to work with, which was likely part of why the pigmentation was lower. It lasted well on the skin for seven and a half hours on me. NARS Contour (P) is warmer (90% similar). Inglot #504 (P, $15.00) is darker, cooler (85% similar). Colour Pop Aphrodisiac (P, $8.00) is more shimmery, warmer (85% similar). NARS Paloma Contour (P) is darker, warmer (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Rosy Contouring Highlight is a very light beige with subtle, warm undertones and a satin finish. It had good pigmentation with a lightly dusty consistency that blended well. Despite the dustiness, it didn’t emphasize my skin’s texture or appear dry or powdery applied to my skin. This shade seemed to wear for eight hours, but on my skin tone, it was hard to determine as it doesn’t register easily. YSL Golden Contouring Highlight (P) is more shimmery, warmer (95% similar). MAC Hot Sensation (LE, $22.00) is lighter, brighter (95% similar). NYX Soft Light (P, $5.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Hourglass Incandescent Strobe Light (P, $38.00) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). NARS Paloma Highlight (P) is less shimmery (90% similar). Chanel Jardin de Camelias (LE, $65.00) is warmer (90% similar). NARS Highlight (P) is less shimmery (90% similar). Tarte Highlight (Tarteist) (LE) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Kat Von D Lucid (P) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

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YSL Scandal Couture Eyeshadow Palette

YSL Scandal Couture Palette
YSL Scandal Couture Palette

YSL Scandal Couture Palette ($60.00 for 0.18 oz.) is an interesting mix of shades that falls short when it comes to quality. The brand may tout the formula as pigmented, long-wearing, and crease-proof, but this palette really doesn’t work without a solid primer underneath it, as the palette was under-pigmented, shorter-wearing, and dusty in consistency, which made some shades appear even sheerer when blended out than they already were to begin with.

Scandal #1 is a muted, dark olive green with warm undertones and a satin shimmer. It had semi-opaque coverage that went on evenly and smoothly, but it wasn’t buildable beyond that. The texture was soft and finely-milled but ran dusty, so it was prone to sheering out (which made it appear even softer and more subdued). It lasted for six and a half hours on me before fading noticeably. Urban Decay Chains (LE, $19.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). theBalm Lead Zeppelin (P, $16.00) is more shimmery, darker (95% similar). MAC In the Meadow #4 (LE, $21.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Anastasia Bronx (LE, $12.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). LORAC Jade (P, $19.00) is more shimmery, darker (95% similar). theBalm D4 (LE, $16.00) is cooler (95% similar). Makeup Geek High Tea (P, $6.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Olive Blend #2 (LE) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Sephora Snakeskin Dress (02) (P, $12.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). MAC Green Clean #3 (LE) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Makeup Atelier Amazon #3 (P) is lighter (90% similar). Make Up For Ever I628 Reptile (P, $21.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Make Up For Ever #148 (DC, $20.00) is warmer (90% similar). Dior Bonne Etoile (384) #1 (LE) is darker (85% similar). bareMinerals Couture (P) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Givenchy Kaki Brocart (6) (P, $23.00) is brighter, warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Scandal #2 is a very light peach with warm undertones and a sparkly, frosted finish. It had very sheer coverage, which was not buildable, and it didn’t improve over primer–the only way for me to work with this one so it would show up on my lid was to use a damp brush. The texture just felt dry and loose in the pan, so it didn’t adhere well or bind together. It started to fade after six hours. Chanel Tisse d'Automne #2 (P) is lighter (95% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Seductive Beauty (Brighten) (LE) is less shimmery (95% similar). LORAC Beige (P, $19.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). MAC A Natural Flirt (P, $20.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). MAC Jest (P, $16.00) is lighter (95% similar). theBalm #18 (P, $6.50) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). YSL Indie Jasper #1 (LE) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar). MAC Smokeluxe #1 (P) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Summer Honey (LE, $21.00) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Anastasia Vermeer (P, $12.00) is lighter (90% similar). Tarte Champagne Bubble Bath (LE) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Urban Decay Sellout (P, $19.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Grain (P, $16.00) is lighter (90% similar). Chanel Seduction #2 (LE) is lighter (90% similar). Tarte Seashell (LE) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Surratt Beauty Soie (P, $20.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). LORAC Peony (LE, $19.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). NYX Girl Talk (P, $6.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Nude Dip #1 (LE) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (85% similar). MAC Just Gleaming (LE, $20.00) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Scandal #3 is a muted, dark berry with subtle cool undertones and a satin sheen. The texture was dry and grainy, where some of the color looked chunky (and it wasn’t sparkle!). It had semi-opaque coverage that went on evenly, but it was a mess to use as the color sheered out and a lot fell below my lid (after applying–it wasn’t a case of too much being on the brush). The color started to fade after six and a half hours. Disney by Sephora Sha La La (LE) is brighter (90% similar). Ciate Fierce (LE) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Sleek MakeUP Honeymoon in Hollywood (LE, $9.99) is more shimmery, darker (80% similar). Colour Pop Porter (P, $5.00) is more shimmery, darker (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Scandal #4 is a medium-dark copper with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It had opaque pigmentation that applied evenly to the lid and looked better after a minute or two than it did initially, as the consistency is slightly dusty. This shade wore well for seven and a half hours on me. LORAC Cider (LE, $19.00) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar). Colour Pop Sequin (P, $5.00) is more shimmery, darker (95% similar). Makeup Geek Roulette (P, $6.00) is darker (95% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty The Free Spirit No. 13 (LE) is less shimmery (95% similar). Viseart Melonie (P) is cooler (90% similar). Colour Pop La-La (LE, $5.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Urban Decay Trick (P, $19.00) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Anastasia Wine (P, $12.00) is warmer (90% similar). Make Up For Ever D708 Pinky Copper (P, $21.00) is lighter (90% similar). BH Cosmetics Foil Eyes #27 (P) is brighter (90% similar). City Color Cheers to Life (P, $6.99) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty The Starlet #4 (P) is more shimmery, brighter (90% similar). Viseart Boheme Dream #5 (LE) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). bareMinerals Bragging Rights (LE) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Too Faced Peanut Brittle (LE, $16.00) is less shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar). bareMinerals Tan Lines (LE) is lighter (90% similar). Anastasia Copper Shimmer (P, $12.00) is less shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty The Siren #3 (LE) is warmer (90% similar). Anastasia Glisten (P, $12.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). LORAC Nude #5 (LE, $19.00) is warmer (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Scandal #5 is a deep teal with cooler undertones and a satin shimmer. The texture was fairly soft and smooth, but it wasn’t the easiest shade to blend out; I had the best results when I dabbed it in sheerer layers and built up the color rather than attempting to diffuse the edges a lot. It had nearly opaque color coverage, though, and it wore for a solid eight hours (one of the longest-wearing shades from recent YSL Couture palettes for me). Lancome My French #8 (LE) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Tonight's the Night (LE, $22.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Colour Pop Rhinestone (LE, $5.00) is cooler (90% similar). Natasha Denona Deep Pacific (03V) (P, $29.00) is darker, more muted (90% similar). Cle de Peau Les Annees Folles #5 (LE) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). MAC Rain Drop (LE, $32.50) is more shimmery (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

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C+

Scandal #1

Limited Edition
Read Review
F

Scandal #2

Limited Edition
Read Review
D+

Scandal #3

Limited Edition
Read Review
B+

Scandal #4

Limited Edition
Read Review
B+

Scandal #5

Limited Edition
Read Review

YSL Golden Contouring Couture Contouring Palette

YSL Golden Contouring (1) Couture Contouring Palette
YSL Golden Contouring (1) Couture Contouring Palette

YSL Golden Contouring (1) Couture Contouring Palette ($47.00 for 0.24 oz.) contains two powders–one for contouring, one for highlighting–in a slim, gold-hued (plastic) palette. The contouring shade is slightly larger in size compared to the highlighting shade. I expect this to work best on light-medium and lighter skin tones; it is just barely noticeable on me as a more subtle contouring pick, and I am light-medium to medium in coloring. Though this is dubbed Golden, it is not overly warm and seems like suitable shades for neutral-to-warm skin tones. It’s a decent to good palette overall, though there are certainly a lot of options in this category across price points.

Golden Contouring Contour is a muted, mid-tone taupe-brown with subtle, warm undertones and a matte finish. The texture was slightly dusty, though soft, smooth, and finely-milled, that blended easily underneath the cheekbones and along the jaw line without leaving sharp lines. It had semi-opaque color payoff that was easy to apply with a lighter hand or build up with an additional layer for truer-to-pan color. On me, it wore well for just over seven and a half hours. Kevyn Aucoin Light (P, $44.00) is darker (90% similar). Smashbox Contour (P) is darker (90% similar). Kat Von D Sombre (P) is darker, warmer (85% similar). Tarte Contour Soft (Tarteist) (LE) is warmer (85% similar). LORAC Light Contour (P) is darker, warmer (85% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Medium (P, $44.00) is darker, warmer (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Golden Contouring Highlight is a light beige with warm, golden undertones and a satiny shimmer-sheen finish. The pigmentation was rich, while the texture was soft, finely-milled, and blendable without being dusty or powdery. It gave a very subtle luminance to the skin, where it seemed to emphasize the natural sheen of skin, but it wasn’t enough to show up well in photos (it is one of those products that is better suited for real life than photography). I also suspect it will do more for lighter skin tones than mine. This shade seemed to wear well for eight hours (it’s not really visible on my skin color, so that makes it harder to judge wear). YSL Rosy Contouring Highlight (P) is less shimmery, cooler (95% similar). Chanel Jardin de Camelias (LE, $65.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Tarte Highlight (Tarteist) (LE) is more muted (95% similar). MAC Hot Sensation (LE, $22.00) is lighter, brighter (95% similar). Sephora Light Beam (02) (P, $14.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). NARS Highlight (P) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). NARS Paloma Highlight (P) is less shimmery (90% similar). YSL Lumiere Divine (LE) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Hourglass Incandescent Strobe Light (P, $38.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Kat Von D Lucid (P) is less shimmery, lighter, brighter (85% similar). NYX Soft Light (P, $5.00) is less shimmery, lighter (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

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