Monday, October 25th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag
MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag

MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag

Each year, MAC puts out a couple of lip products in specially designed/packaged bags, and this year is no different. The Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag ($36.00) includes Moth to Flame (sheer neutral beige; dazzleglass), Baron’s Rose (medium rose; lipstick), and Draw Me Close (dusty rose; lip pencil).

Both the lipstick and dazzleglass are full-sized, while the lip pencil is miniaturized (about half the size of regular lip pencils). The dazzleglass is permanent, while the other two are new and limited edition to this set. The lip products come with a tartan patterned bag that’s a little larger than my hand. It’ll certainly hold all of the products it comes with, along with a few more. The bag is the same for both lip sets.

  • Moth to Flame is a sheer peach with white shimmer. On my lips, it just brightens my natural lip color and adds glossiness. It’s part of the permanent line-up of dazzleglasses. As pretty as dazzleglasses are when worn, their quantity/price ratio really leaves something to be desired.
  • Baron’s Rose is a semi-sheer reddened berry with strong gold shimmer and sheen. It is a cremesheen finish lipstick. It’s extremely similar to Fun Bathing (from To the Beach) — Baron’s Rose is slightly redder/darker, but they are very, very close. It’s a lovely color, though.
  • Draw Me Close is a browned pink. It’d be great to use as a neutral lip liner.

Value-wise, the Lip Bag is okay but it’s not a showstopping deal. You’re getting a full-sized lipstick ($14.50), full-sized dazzleglass ($18.00), and a half-sized lip pencil ($7.00), which is a total value of $39.50. If you include the bag, then you’ll feel like you’re getting a bit more for your money.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a real shame that Baron’s Rose has several similar pre-existing shades, because it’s a gorgeous shade. Festive but still perfect for autumn!

AVAILABILITY: MAC Counters/Stores on October 28th

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Monday, October 25th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Vain & Glorious Lip Bag
MAC Tartan Tale: Vain & Glorious Lip Bag

MAC Tartan Tale: Vain & Glorious Lip Bag

Each year, MAC puts out a couple of lip products in specially designed/packaged bags, and this year is no different. The Vain & Glorious Lip Bag ($36.00) includes Baby Sparks (sparkly baby pink; dazzleglass), Mellow Mood (sheer pink; lipstick), and In Synch (light pink; lip pencil).

Both the lipstick and dazzleglass are full-sized, while the lip pencil is miniaturized (about half the size of regular lip pencils). None of the products in the kit are new; Baby Sparks is permanent, while Mellow Mood and In Synch are both repromotes.

The lip products come with a tartan patterned bag that’s a little larger than my hand. It’ll certainly hold all of the products it comes with, along with a few more. The bag is the same for both lip sets.  It seems well-made to me; it definitely doesn’t look or feel cheap just by handling it.  If tartan is your thing, cool–if it’s not, well, pass it on to a friend.

  • Baby Sparks is a sheer, milky baby pink with icy pink shimmer. On my l ips, it just lightens up my natural lip color a bit and adds a lot of glossiness. It’s part of the permanent line-up of dazzleglasses. As pretty as dazzleglasses are when worn, their quantity/price ratio really leaves something to be desired.
  • Mellow Mood is a semi-sheer softened pink with subtle gold shimmer. It’s a little milky, and it has a lustre finish. Since it’s not too cool, it works on both cooler and warmer skin tones. It was originally launched with Electroflash back in 2008.
  • In Synch is a coraled pink. It is a lip pencil, and it was originally launched with Too Fabulous earlier this year in the spring.

Value-wise, the Lip Bag is okay but it’s not a showstopping deal. You’re getting a full-sized lipstick ($14.50), full-sized dazzleglass ($18.00), and a half-sized lip pencil ($7.00), which is a total value of $39.50. If you include the bag, then you’ll feel like you’re getting a bit more for your money.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like pink lips, this is definitely your set. If you have really pigmented lips, this set might not do much for you, as both lipstick/dazzleglass are on the sheerer side.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Counters/Stores on October 28th

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Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Make Up For Ever #1C Lip Liner
Make Up For Ever #1C Aqua Lip Liner

Long-wearing, Waterproof Lip Liner

Make Up For Ever #1C Aqua Lip Liner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a long-wearing lip liner that really does not budge until you take your best makeup remover to it. This is the area it most excels in–the wear is phenomenal, and the liner itself stayed on through drinking water and coffee with no problems at all. It can be layered underneath lipstick/gloss or used to define the lips. It’s soft enough that it’s easy to apply the liner on the lips, but it’s not so creamy that it becomes more like a lipstick pencil than a liner. It doesn’t impart much moisture, but it doesn’t leave lips feeling dry nor dry them out as it wears.

#1C is an interesting shade, because it’s described as a “light neutral beige,” but it almost looks a bit orange when you first swatch it, and then on lips, the natural rosiness of lips (even if you have lesser pigmented lips) seems to bring it down a notch. I like this shade underneath sheerer lipglosses and nude lipsticks best. I think for those with more pigmented lips, it can also help to mute the natural pigmentation of your lips in a more savory way than using concealer/foundation.

The only downside–for some, not all–is that it is a pencil liner, so it may need to be sharpened more frequently in order to get a precise edge. I didn’t have issues using the edge, and I don’t, personally, sharpen every use, to get a precise outline on my lips, but I use the slant more so than the tip itself. I don’t see it as a downside myself, but I could see those who prefer the thinner point of automatic lip liners finding fault here.

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: Maybe not this color, but Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Lip Liners are certainly worth a peek if you’re in the market for a long-wearing lip liner.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Eye & Lip Pencils

MAC To the Beach Collection — Eye Kohls & Lip Pencils Review, Photos, Swatches

To the Beach also sees the introduction of two limited edition lip pencils and one limited edition eye kohl (plus a repromote of a permanent shade).  I liked both of the Eye Kohls, but I found the Lip Pencils to have a bit of a rough texture, even after heavily swatching them to smooth down the point.

  • Rosemary & Thyme is a gilded olive-green with an antique gold sheen. This is a permanent shade, but a gorgeous color to own if you love wearing neutrals, metallics, or greens.
  • Float on By is an aqua sea-blue with a silverish-metallic blue sheen. I love the color, but I feel like if you own the majority of UD’s 24/7 liners, you probably have this already.
  • Life’s a Breeze is a soft medium pink with yellow undertones. It can be difficult to find really awesome lip pencils that suit your natural tone, and I have to say finding a great warmer pink can be more challenging as well.
  • Temperature Rising is a bright, neon orange. This is totally construction cone orange to me.

Edited:  Review for wear added, now that I’ve had several hours to wear these…

The Eye Kohls wear okay, but they’re not immovable.  I don’t, generally, have major issues with eyeliners fading or smudging on me, but I find these fade a bit by hour three.  I think those more prone to smudged eyeliner will find the kohls a little more difficult to work with–unless you set with sealer or powder, then they stay put.  As far as the Lip Pencils go, those were just fine.  They stayed in place, did their job (helping lipstick adhere to your lips, defining lips, etc.).

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Thursday, March 4th, 2010

MAC Too Fabulous Collection

MAC Too Fabulous Collection: Lip Pencils Review, Photos, Swatches

Too Fabulous also included the release of six lip pencils, five of which are limited edition (Chestnut is the only one that is permanent/pre-existing). Why they have limited edition lip pencils… I’m puzzled. It’s like when they release limited edition skincare! These should be staple items, so they’re not a passing trend so much as something that might become part of your daily routine.

Lip Pencils ($13.00 U.S. / $15.50 CDN)

  • Naked is a flesh-toned beige.
  • In Synch is a peached-pink in a way. It’s not quite your typical pink–it’s definitely yellow-based. This would work really well with some more coral-pink lipsticks or glosses.
  • Mouth Off is a coral-orange–I see this working with more orange-coral lipsticks and glosses.
  • Boldly Bare is a deepened brown-nude with a little mauve in it.
  • Trimmed in Pink is a brightened blue-based pink. It’s not quite fuchsia or ultra hot pink, but it would work well to brighten up pink glosses and help keep your favorite hot pink lipstick in check.
  • Chestnut is a deep chocholate brown. I’m not sure what I’d wear this myself, since I don’t typically wear brown lipsticks (or dark lipsticks, for that matter… what, I like eyes!). This is the permanent shade–it was already existing in the Lip Pencil line-up.

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Monday, November 23rd, 2009


NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil: Pop Life & Toudra

NARS Pop Life & Toudra Velvet Matte Lip Pencils ($24.00 for 0.086 oz.) are two new shades from NARS’ Holiday Collection.  These are jumbo-sized lip pencils that are designed to be used more like a lipstick than a lip pencil.  The product is “enriched with Vitamin E” and is designed to last for “hours.”  NARS describes Toudra as a “richly pigmented Barolo wine shade is creamy, long-lasting and matte for strong, seamless color and a perfectly defined pout,” while Pop life is a “bold, bright and modernly matte holly–red hue that slips on with a velvety texture – a new holiday staple.”

Toudra is a bronzy, not quite coppery, brown-based wine.  It’s not really what I’d think of when someone tells me it’s a wine shade, though.  It’s in there, and yet it’s distinctly different.  It has a bit of a frosty/shimmery look, and I didn’t find it applied as easily as some other Velvet Matte Lip Pencils have in the past.  It even felt a little gritty, and dare I say… drying?  (Which these are specifically stated to not be!)  It is reasonably pigmented, though since it doesn’t apply smoothly, you end up using a fair amount of product get an even, full coverage look.

Pop Life looks very holiday-red when you check out the product, but on my lips, it was definitely not the case.  It was more of a brightened up orange-based coral shade.  It was smoother and gave a better look overall compared to Toudra, but even this still felt a little drying to me.  I didn’t get “hydrating” when testing either of these shades out myself.   If you’re looking for a red, you might consider Dragon Girl or Cruella instead–both of which are a lot redder than Pop Life.

These aren’t really your best bang for your buck lip product, considering you only get 0.086 oz. for $24–a NARS lipstick contains 0.12 oz. but also costs $24.00.  NARS has plenty of pigmented lipsticks in their collection (along with sheer shades, of course), so I’d probably start there in a lip color hunt.  I like these, in terms of the actual product (and discounting the price differential), more than NYX’s Jumbo Lip Pencils, because they feel a little more high quality and they do last much longer on me (about four to five hours).

Bottom Line: I don’t love the new shades from holiday.  I don’t own any of the permanent shades, but I’ve tested them in-store and have been more drawn to them there than I was when I swatched these two (and liked them even less when I actually used them!).  Neither color really pops for me, and I’m not sure why these aren’t as hydrating as NARS touts the product line to be.

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

  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I’d recommend trying these in-store before purchasing, to see if the texture meets your expectations!

Availability: Beauty.com, NARS Cosmetics, Sephora

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