Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Perfection Nail Lacquer

All About Nudes in Dolce & Gabbana’s Sicilian Lace Collection

Dolce & Gabbana Perfection (220) Intense Nail Lacquer ($20.00 for 0.37 fl. oz.) is a nearly neutral caramel nude with a cream finish.  It’s new for fall and part of the brand’s Sicilian Lace Collection, which certainly is all about barely there and nude shades.  This is a very subtle color, and it’s not a trend or shade for everyone.   I found two coats was plenty to get an opaque look, as the formula was very pigmented and on the thicker side.

I found the applicator a bit bothersome, as the brush itself is larger and thicker than average; it allows quite a bit of the lacquer to absorb into the brush, so it’s easy to overdo it if you’re not especially careful.  If you have very narrow nail beds, you may also find the brush too wide to use with ease.  The lacquer wore just fine with Zoya’s Color Lock System with tip wear but no chips after a week.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: At $20 a pop, this might not be the shade to splurge on if you’re not quite sure how you feel about the nude on nude trend.

AVAILABILITY: Saks

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Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Illamasqua Collide Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Collide Nail Varnish

Still Time for Neon Nails

Illamasqua Collide Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a wicked neon pink cream that’s opaque in just about two coats (which is what is pictured), but you could easily get away with three coats or do two thicker coats.  The formula is so smooth and the color applies evenly and richly; there is no streaking on the first coat, just a smooth, even layer of color.  Wear is fantastic with just minor tip wear after about a week!

This rounds up the last of Illamasqua’s varnish I have to review at the moment — what are your favorite varnishes from Illamasqua’s line up? So I can keep a running list of what I might want to try next! :)

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: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you love bright, nearly neon kind of shades, Collide is a great neon pink!

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Jack Black Hand Healer Hand Cream
Jack Black Hand Healer Hand Cream

Battle of the Hand Creams: Jack Black

I’m a constant hand washer, so my hands are often in a sad state.  Even though I’ve made many attempts to become a regular user of hand cream, it was only recently that I’ve decided it’s about time and I’m determined to go through and do a little Battle of the Hand Creams here on the blog.

Jack Black Hand Healer Hand Cream ($15.00 for 3 oz.) is a man’s man’s hand cream.  It’s incredibly moisturizing, even on the toughest, cracked and peeling hands (or feet!) and never feels greasy.  It has this manly scent–it’s woodsy with a little eucalyptus, but it’s not really unpleasant nor something I’d like to bathe myself in.  I don’t find the scent overwhelming, and it certainly doesn’t linger for long on my hands.

This is definitely one of the better hand creams I’ve tried, because it absorbs quickly and you won’t need to apply it several times a day.  I’ve been using it just before I go to bed, and my hands have certainly improved–less “old lady” like.  It has silicone in it, which really helps to keep it from feeling greasy (has a softer, more velvety feel) and adds a bit of a barrier on skin–much like a face primer, actually!

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you have cracking or peeling skin on your hands/feet, I think it’s worth trying this.  If you don’t find yourself with very dry hands, a more affordable hand cream might work just as well for you.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Illamasqua Lament Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Lament Nail Varnish

Coral Tips for Summer Trips

Illamasqua Lament Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a fierce coral-orange that practically glows in the light.  Even in soft, indirect light, you can see the brightness of the shade.  Like Baptiste, Lament applies easily without streaking.  It has a very slight jelly quality, but overall, it’s your standard cream finish.  Above, I used two coats, but you could probably do a third for complete opacity (it looked opaque to me originally, but you can very faintly see the nail line in the photos).   Application really is quite dreamy here– so smooth, no fussing, no bubbling.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Lament

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Saturday, August 14th, 2010

MAC Venomous Villains - Maleficent

MAC Disney Venomous Villains Collection: Maleficent Review, Photos, Swatches

As we continue on, we move to Maleficent‘s (from Sleepy Beauty) “collection,” which includes two mineralize eyeshadow duos, two lipsticks, two lipglasses, one beauty powder, and three nail lacquers.

All of the character images are stamped on the products; they are not stickers. You can find official promotional imagery and color descriptions here. The collection launches on September 30th, 2010 at all MAC locations, October 2010 internationally, and approximately September 28th for online. You may also want to check your local store to see if they are holding an unveiling/preview party for the collection.

Lipglass ($15.50 U.S. / $18.50 CDN)

  • Revenge is Sweet is a sheer, jelly-ish medium pink with fuchsia micro-shimmer. It has a very wet look to it but seems to settle into lip lines.
  • Wrong Spell is a semi-sheer, burnt burgundy with pinky-plum and copper shimmer. I thought Liqueur was similar, but it’s much, much lighter and bronze, not burgundy.

Lipstick ($15.50 U.S. / $18.50 CDN)

  • Violetta is a brightened fuchsia-violet with an amplified finish. This is a PRO color.
  • Dark Deed is a darkened blood red with blackish-brown with an amplified finish. It’s a ever-so-slightly redder version of Media (but they are very close), and Dark Deed has a wetter/glossier finish.

Mineralize Eyeshadow Duo ($21.00 U.S. / $25.00 CDN)

  • My Dark Magic is a duo that features a blackened purple with a frosty finish and a violet-tinged blue with a navy-black base. Young Punk (Style Black) has a stronger black base with more of a glittery finish than the shimmer finish of this product.
  • She Who Dares is a combination of a darkened navy-black base with medium-dark blue shimmer and a dirty green and gold shimmered over a blackened, forest green base. The blue side does resemble Blue Flame (Style Black) with the finish being smoother in this product.

Beauty Powder ($25.00 U.S. / $30.00 CDN)

  • Briar Rose is a cool-toned, blue-based medium pink. It’s kind of like a bubblegum pink to me–like perhaps Snob lipstick in blush form. It is also reminiscent of a less purple, less cool version of Pink Swoon–perhaps if Pink Swoon and Well-Dressed had a baby. It does apply rather sheerly, though it can be built up.

Nail Lacquer ($13.00 U.S. / $15.50 CDN)

  • Bad Fairy is a stunning shade of duochrome polish that’s both ruby red, molten lava copper, and gold, depending on how the light hits it.
  • Formidable! shimmers teal, blue, violet, and reddened purple, depending on the light. It is, however, a dead-on dupe for ORLY Galaxy Girl.  There is nothing that I can distinguish as different between the two brands–formula feels the same, it wears the same.  MAC may take just a minute longer to dry.
  • Mean & Green flashes burgundy, green, and gold and is totally full of shimmer. It is a dead-on dupe for ORLY Space Cadet.

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Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Deborah Lippmann Supermodel Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Supermodel Nail Lacquer

I’m Gonna be a Supermodel, and My Hair Will Shine Like the Sea!

Deborah Lippmann Supermodel Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a sheer, jelly cherry red that leans a little orange-coral. It’s glossy, and it’s genuinely designed to be sheer–it’s not meant to be opaque, so keep that in mind. It has a very squishy, jelly look on nails. I do think this will complement warmer skin tones best, but it doesn’t pull extremely orange, so cooler skin tones may still enjoy it. Where Supermodel stands out is in the formula–streak-free, a dream to apply, and doesn’t take eons to dry. But really, the lack of streakiness makes it this sheer a pleasure to swatch.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This may not be the most unique shade, so it’s not a run-don’t-walk kind of purchase, but if it’s a color and look that you dig, it’s certainly worth a look. The formula is outstanding and true to Lippmann’s range.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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