Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Vera Plushglasses
MAC Vera Plushglasses

MAC Vera: Plushglasses

The collection features four limited edition (and one permanent) shades of MAC Plushglass ($19.50 for 0.14 fl. oz.). These include: Butterfly Dream (mid-tone violet with blue pearl), Confetti (bright orange coral with soft pearl), Fashion Fanatic (creamy pale pink), On a Holiday (bright pink with blue pearl), and Pretty Plush (extra soft pink with white pearl).

I can’t wear the Plushglass formula. It’s a brutal product for me to swatch, let alone do a wear test for, because my lips simply cannot handle it. I haven’t done a wear test for these in many years, and you won’t see me doing one any time soon. Even just doing the five lip swatches was difficult to endure; I swear, the stinging factor of the Plushglasses gets higher with each release! My lips get splotchy, swollen (but not in the cute, pouty way), and if I wear these for too long, eventual peeling and bleeding. Today was a little reminiscent of the first time I tried any lip plumper, and it was DuWop’s Lip Venom. I remember being in my first apartment freaking out going, “Is it supposed to be like my lips are on fire or should I remove this?!?!”

Plushglass is non-sticky, fairly thin, and sheer. The formula is supposed to deliver sheer color with a high-gloss finish, feel comfortable to wear, while moisturizing, soothing, and visibly plumping lips. I can attest that these are non-sticky, feel thin (like Cremesheen Glasses), and deliver sheer color. They are vanilla-scented, but it is a different scent compared to the rest of MAC’s lip products; it is extremely sweet and food-like. It’s cloying and lingers. I haven’t worn these for a wear test in a long time, so it’s hard to say just how long-wearing and whether or not the formula is moisturizing. It’s definitely not soothing on me!

Since I feel like I really can’t make an accurate assessment of the product on two major factors for the rating, I’m just not issuing a rating.  I suspect that wear will be a little below average given how sheer, thin, and non-sticky the formula is, based on the hundreds of lipglosses I’ve tested over the past five years.  I know that on my lips, given that the end result is peeling, bleeding lips, hydration is probably not happening.  But realistically, my reaction is just that, and it’s certainly a more extreme one.  I mentioned it on Twitter earlier today, and several others commiserated with me, having experienced something similar with these, but since they’ve been on the market for years, I imagine the majority doesn’t have that reaction to them!

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Thursday, March 31st, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Plushglasses
MAC Quite Cute Plushglass in Bubble Tea and I Love U

MAC Quite Cute:  Plushglass

MAC Quite Cute Plushglass ($18.50 for 0.14 fl. oz.) include four new and limited edition shades from the upcoming collection, which launches in-stores on April 7th. The four shades include: Bubble Tea (creamy pale nude), I Love U (creamy mid-tone purple), Fashion Fanatic (creamy pale pink), and Girl Love Boy (bright light blue pink).

  • Bubble Tea is a semi-sheer peach beige with soft white micro-shimmer.  It seems like it would be similar to Big Baby.  (Note:  this looks pinker/redder  on my lips, because my lips were reacting to the plumping ingredient in the formula.)
  • I Love U is a semi-sheer, pink-tinged lilac with soft white micro-shimmer. It’s a bit milky, though it doesn’t settle into lip lines too badly.  It seems similar to Ever So Rich, which was limited edition.
  • Fashion Fanatic is a sheer, pale yellow-based pink with white shimmer. On my lips, it doesn’t add much color, just adds glossiness and shimmer. Any clear gloss with shimmer will dupe this.
  • Girl Loves Boy is a semi-opaque, blue-based cotton candy pink with a cream finish. I hurried through the swatching of this, but I did try to even it out, since it moves around and will push and pull in places. It has some milkiness to it, so it will settle into lip lines. This is the most pigmented shade of the four. It’s more pigmented than Fashion Scoop but paler than Right Image.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Plushglass is heavily vanilla scented (sweeter and more potent than any other MAC lip product I’ve come across) and is a plumping gloss. These seemed to have a much stronger plumping factor (because I couldn’t wear them, see below) than I remember them having, but it has been years since I have tried one. Plushglass is non-sticky and tends to be sheer to semi-sheer. The texture is not quite as creamy as Cremesheen Glass but reminiscent of them.

I cannot wear Plushglass. It causes an allergic reaction (you can actually see how my lips are turning splotchy), so I swatched these as quickly as I could, so they are a bit messy — my lips were already splotchy just from doing one swatch, but I know that without lip swatches the post would be worthless. It is a bit weird, because previously, I don’t remember having problems wearing Plushglass and considered it a rather mild plumping formula (I actually remember not feeling any tingle before), but whether my reaction has changed or these are more potent, that is no longer the case for me.

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss
Urban Decay Lip Junkies: Midnight Cowboy, Naked, Runaway, Jilted, Perversion

Five Shimmery Shades from Urban Decay

Now, part two of new Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss ($19.00 for oz.)! This post features the shades: Midnight CowboyNaked (pink nude with pink shift), Runaway (shimmering deep coral), Jilted (hot pink with blue shift), and Perversion (sheer sparkling obsidian). (shimmering beige),

  • Midnight Cowboy is a sheer, pale champagne-shimmered gloss. It really has no color, but it adds some shimmer to lips.
  • Naked is a lightened peach-pink base with nearly iridescent pink micro-shimmer. The shimmer in this gloss felt smaller than Midnight Cowboy, and it has more of a reflective quality to it. This seems to be a your-lips-but-better kind of gloss–not a ton of color, some shimmer.
  • Runaway is a semi-sheer, light coral with white shimmer. The shimmer here is average in size and like Midnight Cowboy’s. This one delivered more color on lips as well.
  • Jilted is a semi-sheer fuchsia-pink with iridescent fuchsia-purple shimmer and a very glossy finish. It’s like a jelly pink base with pretty shimmer in it. It added more pink to my lips, but it’s a very wearable shade–don’t let the tube fool you.
  • Perversion is a blackened plum with almost silver shimmer. Like most dark glosses, it does settle into lip lines and may bleed on those who find themselves prone to bleeding lip color (I didn’t experience it myself). The color is semi-opaque, but it’s not an opaque black gloss at all, so never fear the way a product looks in the tube–at least not until you swatch it. Oh, and this will make your teeth look a little yellow.

Make sure you’ve read part one to get a full review of the formula and all that jazz!

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a solid gloss, but I don’t think it’s necessarily groundbreaking, you know? It’s another good lip gloss that’s non-sticky, smells nice (much better than the creme brulee scent typical to Urban Decay lip products), and feels lovely on the lips.

AVAILABILITY: June 29th @ UrbanDecay.com; August 1st @ Sephora, ULTA, Macy’s, and Beauty.com

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Friday, June 25th, 2010

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss
Urban Decay Lip Junkies: Red Light, Crush, Peroxide, Wallflower, Heavy, Love Junkie

Say Hello to the New Gloss on the Block

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lip Gloss ($19.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is an entirely new product line for the fall season. They’ve released eleven shades in total (WHY! eleven! Even Steven, please!), and I’ve split them into creamy shades and shimmery shades. This post features the shades: Red Light (sheer candy apple red), Crush (sheer coral), Peroxide (palest pink), Wallflower (medium nude), Heavy (shimmering nude), and Love Junkie (deep but very sheer wine).

  • Red Light is a semi-opaque apple red that’s not overly bright or in-your-face, since it’s not fully opaque. No distinguishable shimmer really–gives off a jelly kind of look. It’s actually not as red as it appears in the tube, so those who prefer lighter lip glosses, don’t despair from the tube alone!
  • Crush is a semi-sheer magenta pink. It’s almost like magenta met bubblegum pink, and then they had a lovechild. I don’t know why it’s described as a “sheer coral,” because I did not get any coral feel from this at all! It has the same jelly look as Red Light.
  • Peroxide is a pale, milky pink. I didn’t love how this looked alone on lips, just because the milkiness of it tends to emphasize lip lines as the product settles into them, and it’s difficult to make the gloss look even (see the lip swatch). I like that it’s pale and light without being ultra cool.
  • Wallflower is a nearly opaque shade of pink with a nude edge. It’s very wearable, and I think this would be universally flattering. It has only a little milkiness, but overall, it applies smoothly and evenly without a fuss. It is also one of the more opaque shades of the bunch.
  • Heavy is a darkened peach-nude with subtle white shimmer. In the tube, it looked pretty creamy to me, but it does have subtle shimmer in it. It is surprisingly opaque, and it has the best coverage and look overall out of all eleven shades–beautifully even and smooth while making lips look lush.
  • Love Junkie is a semi-sheer reddened plum (think the inside of a plumcot!). This one did have a tendency to settle into lip lines, but I didn’t find it terribly noticeable from an average viewing distance. It looked a little splotchy on my lips, though.

Lip Junkie has a jelly feel and the less shimmery shades look it, too.  They’re not nearly as thin as Pocket Rockets, but they don’t reach the weight or texture of XXX Shines, either–they’re a little jelly, not thick but noticeably not thin.  These glosses do include Maxi Lip, which is a lip plumper, and normally, my lips don’t seem to do well with lip plumpers–but I managed to get through swatching all eleven shades back-to-back without any damage to my lips.  (The last time I did a session of swatches of a lip plumper, my lips looked and felt like hell for a week–bleeding, peeling, and painful!)

There is a little tingle, but I wouldn’t call it a sting or a burn at all.  They smell quite peppermint-y, so I actually thought that it was just more of a cooling, minty tingle rather than a particular plumping ingredient like Maxi Lip.  It seemed to dissipate after a few minutes, and it really wasn’t that big of a deal.  The sensation was more noticeable than MAC’s Plushglasses (which I barely notice and thus rank lowest on the painful-lip-plumper scale–DuWop’s Lip Venom is the highest for me).  But then again?  I really didn’t see much, if any, plumping of my lips.  Pictures of my lips on the first swatch (Red Light) compared against to pictures of my lips on the last swatch (Perversion) didn’t show any plumping action.

These are non-sticky, peppermint-scented, sweet-tasting lip glosses with a medium thickness and a moisturizing, jelly feel.  I wore Naked (in the next post!), and it lasted a solid two hours, with it beginning to fade and become just a thin layer with some glossiness in hour three.  I did notice that these seemed particularly glossy, which helps give the illusion of juicier, plumper lips, too.

According to Urban Decay, the lip glosses are packaged in a single piece, rather than a lot of other squeeze-tube glosses which have a crimped end–and that crimped end can sometimes lead to lip gloss explosion extravaganzas in your purse or pocket (soooo not fun!).  The cap is metallic-looking but feels plastic and a little cheap to me.  I don’t love the way the packaging feels in my hands, but I do like that it feels solid and the cap screws-on and pulls off–both characteristics which should keep it from staying on your lips and not all over your bag!

I do like that these have good value in them–a little less than double of your average lip gloss (but in line with other squeeze-tube glosses like MAC Lipgelees and Make Up For Ever Glossy Full Couleurs).  I did find that I needed what seemed like more than the usual lip gloss for full coverage, but it didn’t seem or feel heavy or obnoxious in the amount I applied.

So here’s the rub:  these are supposed to plump, but I didn’t see any plumping.  Though Lip Junkies seem to be a perfectly good gloss, I’m just not seeing any results on something that the marketing material was really pumping up (you’re lucky I didn’t say plumping up!).  It purports to increase lip collagen by 40% in a month, and on the tube, it says “cools and plumps.”  If you’ve managed to read this far into the review–first, kudos–but more importantly, these are like B+ glosses; not perfect, not the greatest ever, but they’re good.  But since they don’t do everything they’re supposed to based on my experience, I have to lower the score down.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a solid gloss, but I don’t think it’s necessarily groundbreaking, you know? It’s another good lip gloss that’s non-sticky, smells nice (much better than the creme brulee scent typical to Urban Decay lip products), and feels lovely on the lips.

AVAILABILITY: June 29th @ UrbanDecay.com; August 1st @ Sephora, ULTA, Macy’s, and Beauty.com

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Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

L'Oreal Plumped Red Lipgloss
L’Oreal Plumped Red Infallible Plumping Lipgloss

The Scarlet Season: L’Oreal Plumped Red Infallible Plumping Lipgloss

L’Oreal Plumped Red #306 Infallible Plumping Lipgloss ($9.99) is a sheer, lightly tinted orange-based red lipgloss with “plumping power.” It lightly plumps up lips with just a touch of a tingle, which I didn’t find too bothersome (and I’d say I’m particularly sensitive to lip plumpers and find the majority overwhelming). I wish the color was bolder and more opaque, because it is rather subtle and sheer. It does, however, significantly tint and add redness to my lips, and it wears well, because it has a tendency to stain a little rather than sit on top of lips like a typical gloss. It has the faintest bit of shimmer, but it’s hardly noticeable on lips.

What about you? Would you wear this red?

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

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Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Fusion Beauty Infatuation

Fusion Beauty LipFusion Infatuation ($29.00 for 0.19 oz.) is supposed to be a liquid lip color that also plumps up lips with Fusion Beauty’s Amplifat™ technology.

In the past, Fusion’s LipFusion has always been my go-to if I ever want a lip plumper, just because I found their original LipFusion line to be incredibly non-irritating — no burning, stinging, tingling, or in other words, pain, when using it. I tried DuWop Lip Venom, and I thought my lips were going to fall off! I’m personally not into lip plumpers myself, because I do like my natural lip size (and sometimes feel they’re too big!), so I don’t often seek out anything that’ll fatten them up.

What Fusion Beauty says are key ingredients…

  • Amplifat™: concentrate (derived from a perennial sea fern) works with the skin’s own triggers to help naturally increase two key proteins that occur naturally in the skin (ADFP and FABP5). These two key proteins help induce diffusion and storage of fatty acids.
  • Lip Vantage: is a dual-encapsulated plumping and highly hydrating ingredient that delivers incredible moisture and promotes lip renewal for more youthful looking lips
  • Peptides: enhance collagen synthesis for naturally enhanced, lush, youthful, healthy lips.

But naturally, I was curious about Fusion Beauty’s new Infatuation line-up, and I’m all about more color in a lipgloss! I tried three shades…

  • In the Flesh is a semi-opaque darkened peach with light pink-peach shimmer and lots of glossy shine.
  • Sugar Rush looks like a light peachy-pink when I swatched it, but on my lips, it looks much more like a sheer milky pink with silver-pink shimmer.
  • Pucker Up is a semi-opaque medium pink with a little bit of brightness, but I wouldn’t call it a full-on hot pink. I felt like this one had the least amount of noticeable shimmer and looked more like a creamy gloss (but it did seem to have a touch of shimmer).

None of the three shades I tried really grabbed me by color. They didn’t apply too evenly on their own, and the color had a tendency to settle into lip lines. If you layer it over a lipstick, you’ll get a more even application, but then you’ll lose a lot of the lip plumping effect (since it’s no longer directly on your lips), so it’s kind of a wash. The gloss smells like grapefruit to me, but at the very least, it has a slightly sweet scent with a kick.

The tingling action was so-so — it felt like a bit more than LipFusion, but it was still something I could endure (and I have a low threshold for tingling on my lips). The result was just slightly bigger lips, but the effect could have easily been from how glossy the formula was rather than any actual fattening on a more scientific level. The gloss itself was thick enough that it felt like a creamy lip gloss, but it was still non-sticky. The wear time felt a little less than average, as it seemed to fade and wear off after just two or three hours when I tested it out.

This lip plumping gloss goes for about $152.63/oz. as compared to Fusion Beauty’s Color Shine (which contains 0.29 oz.) at $131.03/oz. — but each Color Shine retails for $38, which is a bit of a steep investment to make into a single lip product. $29 puts it around the level of Chanel, Dior, and Guerlain lip glosses but with a plumping effect.

Bottom line: As a gloss, not overly impressive, and there are numerous other high-end glosses at $29 a pop I’d opt for over these (Chanel Glossimers and Guerlain KissKiss Gloss, just to name two). As a lip plumper, it makes lips look fuller, but it’s not enough plumping for me to shell out $29 to get it. I think, as well, since the gloss itself isn’t outstanding, I’d rather go for their clear formula and use another gloss for color.

  • Product: 20/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  For those who prefer a lip plumper that doesn’t pain them, LipFusion might work out for you.  These glosses are more pigmented than their Color Shine formula, but your mileage will vary by the shade.

Availability: Sephora

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