Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

When it comes to lipgloss, I personally fall in love with two types:  insanely pigmented, nearly opaque colors or glimmering, dazzling, sparkling, and shimmering ones–but they have to be loaded with sparkle (and yet, they can’t feel gritty!).  Over the years, while stickiness isn’t a deal-breaker, I don’t like heavy, thick, goopy kind of glosses.  Reflecting on glosses I’ve tested out this past year, here were the ones I picked for my top ten!

What were your must-have lipglosses from 2013?

Monday, December 30th, 2013

I have to admit: this was a complete challenge. In fact, it felt unfair trying to narrow down favorites to a mere ten when I was considering around 300 different shades from the past year. As what tends to happen when I start to feel indecisive, I went for favorites across brands and weighted uniqueness slightly more heavily than other factors. But there were some really outstanding formulas released this year! At year-end, I have to give major props to Cult Nails and OCC, both of which had a lot of contenders.

What were your favorite polishes you tried this past year?

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

OCC Isherwood Nail Lacquer
OCC Isherwood Nail Lacquer

OCC Isherwood Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “metallic tobacco ebony.” It’s a deep, dark, rich mahogany brown with copper and bronze micro-shimmer and warm, red undertones. It was fully opaque in two coats and had a natural shine when dry. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. It had a more metallic finish, so there were some minor, though visible, brush strokes depending on the lighting/angle. I can’t recall reviewing anything quite like this shade. MAC Chestnut (LE, $16.00) has a similar coloring but is a cream, so it’s quite different at the end of the day. See comparison swatches.

Man by Man Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “pearlescent teal green.” It’s a vibrant, sparkling green-ish teal with green-teal sparkle and an almost metallic finish. It was semi-opaque after two coats, so I would recommend three coats for fully opaque color. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it spread well across the nail. It had a naturally shiny finish when it dried down. Zoya Giovanna (P, $8.00) is darker, less sparkly. Dior Samba (794) (LE, $24.00) is similar–finer shimmer. Urban Decay Mars (LE) is darker. Butter London Thames (P, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Sebastian Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “metallic, plum-toned taupe.” It’s a light-medium, cool-toned beige-brown with subtle metallic shimmer. It had slightly visible brush strokes, though from a normal viewing distance, I really couldn’t detect them. The color was very nearly opaque after two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. Dior Destin (382) (LE, $24.00) is slightly darker and more metallic. Rescue Beauty Lounge Be Humble (LE, $20.00) is purpler. MAC Endless Night (LE, $16.00) has no shimmer. Chanel Frenzy (P, $27.00) is slightly grayer. Cult Nails Let’s Get Dirty (P, $12.00) is a touch less brown, has a rubber finish (with a top coat, they’re more similar). See comparison swatches.  As a note, I had a couple of splayed bristles on the brush of this shade, but I can’t recall that happening on any other of my OCC polishes.

I typically get seven days of wear with no chipping and only minor tip wear with OCC’s formula.

The Glossover

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product

Isherwood

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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product

Man by Man

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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P
product

Sebastian

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Saturday, December 14th, 2013

What is a holiday season without highlighting some of my current set of favorite ruby red-hued beauty products? I’m always on the hunt for more metallic reds, so I look forward to reading your favorites!

  1. OCC Black Metal Dahlia — a deep, dark burgundy-red with ruby red metallic shimmer
  2. Hourglass Siren — no list is complete without Siren, a fiercely metallic, opaque gloss
  3. OCC Role Play — a ruby red with a metallic finish and cool undertones
  4. Inglot #450 — a deepened, cool-toned reddish-berry with a metallic sheen
  5. Milani Cherry Crave — a warm, metallic red

What are your personal favorites?

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Reader Rashmi requested a top five of burgundy lipsticks, and I have to say, finding a really lovely burgundy lip color that’s permanent is difficult. It seems to be a favorite hue to go-to for limited edition collections, though.

  1. OCC Black Dahlia — is a deep, dark burgundy with a hint of brown that lasts and lasts
  2. MAC Endless Drama — a deepened, semi-opaque burgundy red with a soft, frosted finish
  3. Giorgio Armani #408 — is a muted, reddish burgundy with a pearly shimmer
  4. Buxom Menace — a brightened, berry-ish burgundy with a shimmery finish
  5. Laura Mercier Merlot — a lightened, muted berry-burgundy with a natural finish

What’s your favorite burgundy lipstick?

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

OCC Little Black Dress Lip Tar Stained Gloss
OCC Little Black Dress Lip Tar Stained Gloss

OCC Little Black Dress Lip Tar Stained Gloss ($18.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer veil of black pigment.” It may look like a medium black when squeezed out of the tube, but applied, it’s exactly as described: a sheer wash of black–it gives lips a gray-cast, takes my natural color and gives it a cooler tone, and then a glossy shine. Even though it’s rather sheer, there was some settling into lip lines. Urban Decay Oil Slick (DC, $22.00) is similar in its sheer, gray-tinge. MAC also had Blackware eons ago, which was similar. See comparison swatches.

Alone, the glossiness and subtle gray-ish tint seems to last around four hours on me. It has a very gel-like consistency, wasn’t tacky, and was comfortable to wear. The backbone of Lip Tars is really their versatility and mixability, so naturally, I layered this over a red lipstick (Marc Jacobs Showstopper), and it’s a quick way to instantly vamp-up your favorite lip color. It darkens, cools down, and adds a high-shine, glossy finish. Because it is sheerer, it doesn’t overwhelm the color. It does take careful blending to ensure an even layer of color.

This color will be available beginning Black Friday (the 29th) and will be added to the permanent range at occmakeup.com. It will also be available as a gift with purchase on $75+ orders placed between 11/29 and 12/2.

The Glossover

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product

Little Black Dress

B+

It's better as a layering product, because it does settle into lip lines when worn on its own. Layered, it darkens, cools down, and adds a high-shine, glossy finish. Because it is sheerer, it doesn't overwhelm the color.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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