Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011


NARS Club Mix Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils

NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.09 oz.) was a new product, released for spring, as a twist on NARS’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. It’s a glossy, moisturizing jumbo-sized pencil available in six “glazed” shades. The range includes: Baroque (raspberry sorbet), Club Mix (sheer grape), Frivolous (iridescent seashell pink), Happy Days (pink coral infused with gold shimmer), abd Hopi (honey beige), and New Lover (gold infused strawberry pink).

  • Baroque is a dark, pink-tinged red with silver and pink shimmer. It’s nearly opaque on lips.
  • Club Mix is a berry plum with soft pink and burgundy with a slight metallic finish. It’s semi-sheer to semi-opaque on lips with a glossy shine.
  • Frivolous is a sheer pink nude with soft gold shimmer that applies semi-sheer to semi-opaque. For me, it’s a rather my-lips-but-better shade.
  • Happy Days is a sheer coral-red with coppery gold shimmer that gives medium color coverage.
  • Hopi is a darkened, coppered tan with gold and copper shimmer. It is almost semi-opaque on lips, but you can still see my lip freckle.
  • New Lover is a dark, cool-toned pink with iridescent pink-peach shimmer. Like Hopi, it is almost semi-opaque in color coverage.

It’s hard to determine just what kind of color coverage to expect from these, because it seems to range from semi-sheer to semi-opaque overall, with Baroque being the most opaque and Frivolous being the sheerest. Given NARS’ gloss range and lipgloss in general, they are typically not opaque, so I think the pigmentation level in these is good and above average.

The finishes of each is a glossy enough to be a gloss but the thin texture of the pencil won’t give lips as full of a look as thicker lip gloss does. These are a great alternative to those who want the shine of the gloss but the texture of a lip balm.

These are smooth and glide on effortlessly, and the coverage is fairly even without having to work at it. They also deposit color well without requiring lots of layers to achieve the results seen in swatches. I get about three hours of wear with these, which is about average. I detected no scent or taste, and the texture of these is not at all tacky.

My concern with these lip pencils is how soft the pencil is–though it lends to easier application, these are so soft that they don’t do well if the temperature is 70 degrees or higher and end up rather melty. Jumbo-sized pencils like these can waste product when sharpened, and the softness of the pencil seems to exacerbate that problem.

Iwish NARS had gone with twist-up packaging, like Clinique, which would make these more convenient (no sharpening required) and eliminate the waste. The amount of waste does seem to vary from sharpener to sharpener, and I usually reach for Urban Decay’s Grindhouse, which gives me minimized waste, but there is still some.

The Glossover

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NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If the packaging didn't waste product every time you sharpened it (or conversely, if they gave you a lot more product!), I'd love these more (they'd be rated a B+ if packaging was fine!). The color range is really workable and wearable across skin tones, and I can see New Lover being a favorite.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, April 30th, 2011


MAC Packed to Go: 4 Lips & Pressed Powder

MAC Packed to Go: 4 Lips & Pressed Powder

MAC Packed to Go was originally a duty free launch, but it’s landed online at maccosmetics.com now. It features several sets of products, and I’m reviewing three of the offerings. The reason I am not reviewing the rest is because they contain products I’ve reviewed in the past or are permanent shades. 4 Lips & Pressed Powder ($38.00) contains four lipglasses: Riviera Ready (warm light nude), Poetic License (pale apricot), Rosehips (mid-tone rosy pink), and Quick Change (mid-tone cool blue rose) along with one powder:  Belightful (gilded peach bronze). Poetic License, Rosehips, and Belightful are repromotes.

  • Riviera Ready is a warm, yellow-based nude with soft gold shimmer. It is semi-sheer on lips. C-Thru is the closest permanent gloss, but it is less warm and creamier.
  • Poetic License is a milky peach-pink with subtle pink and gold micro-shimmer. It is semi-sheer on lips. It seems closest to Florabundance.
  • Rosehips is a rosy plum with a creamy finish. It is semi-opaque on lips. It is lighter than Lust.
  • Quick Change is a rpasberry pink with lots of golden shimmer. It is semi-sheer on lips. I can’t think of a permanent dupe in MAC’s line for this, but it is similar to Korres #18 Peach lipstick.
  • Belightful is a champagne bronze with flecks of bronze glitter. The glitter is noticeable on skin but not chunky. I did feel it emphasized the texture of my skin, though. Try theBalm’s Mary Lou-manizer as a dupe.

If you’re familiar with MAC’s holiday palettes from last year, the packaging is very similar–this palette is just all black and has no special design on the outside. Each lipglass well contains 0.049 oz. of product (total of 0.196 oz.), while the powder is 0.17 oz. In the palette, you’re getting $16.72 worth of lipglass and $13.96 worth of powder (I believe the Iridescent Powder retailed for $23 for 0.28 oz.). The palette is actually more expensive than the amount of product you actually get, though you do get to try five different products for $38.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Packed to Go 4 Lips & Pressed Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The lipglasses are always sheerer in the palettes than they are in tubes, which makes application frustrating. Belightful was sheer and difficult to apply evenly.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, April 29th, 2011

NARS Wonder Lipgloss
NARS Wonder Lipgloss

NARS Summer 2011: Wonder Lipgloss

NARS Wonder Lipgloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is described as a “shiny, sheer mandarin orange laced with pink and gold shimmer.” It was a very reddened orange with flecks of gold and pink shimmer but less distinctly orange when worn.

Funny enough, this is a product described as sheer but actually is rather semi-sheer to semi-opaque! It’s a very buildable gloss, so it can go from a sheerer wash of color to more medium coverage  (though you can still clearly see my natural lip color through the gloss–it has a lot of color but still a lot of translucence) without feeling like you have to apply half the tube to do so.  One pull of gloss gets you sheer, a second pull gets you to what you see here.

NARS Lipglosses have a thinner consistency that’s mostly non-sticky (though sometimes, there is the odd gloss out), and the past several shades I’ve tried, are also scent- and taste-free. (In the past, some NARS glosses had a plasticky scent.) Wonder applies smoothly and evenly, and it gives lips a really plump, juicy look with the high-shine finish. I typically get three to four hours of wear out of NARS glosses.

The Glossover

LE
product

Wonder

A

Surprisingly buildable, it is easy to wear at sheerer levels as well as more opaque levels. It wears well, evenly, and leaves lips looking really lush.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

MAC Fashion Flower Lipgelee
MAC Fashion Flower Lipgelee

MAC Fashion Flower: Lipgelees

The collection features three shades of Lipgelee (each $14.50 for 0.10 oz.) — Budding Beauty (pale coral with pearl pigment), Fashion Flower (pale pink with pearl pigment), and Now in Season (pale yellow with pearl pigment).

  • Budding Beauty is a coral melon with pink and gold shimmer.  It has more of a shimmery finish than the glittery texture of Fashion Flower and Now in Season.  When applied, it has a very milky melon look–semi-sheer for sure, though.  Love Nectar lustreglass seems like the closest permanent dupe.
  • Fashion Flower is a pink-tinged gloss with lots of pink and silver glitter. It’s a lot like the previous launches of Lipgelees (Lillyland, Cham-Pale) — super glittery, little color, lots of sparkle. I’d say it’s most like Luxure, but applied, Fashion Flower pulls pinker.
  • Now in Season is a pale yellow gold with multicolored shimmer of teal, gold, and silver.  This felt so sticky, which is uncharacteristic of lipgelees.  When worn, it doesn’t deliver much color, just lots of shimmer/glitter.  It’s surprisingly similar to Bubble Lounge when worn, since the color base doesn’t show up.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipgelees are moisturizing, easy to apply, and last three to four hours on me. They are a thicker formula, more like a gel, and come in squeeze tubes. They have a non-sticky texture, are vanilla-scented, and a sheer formula, but these are noticeably sticky. There is some glitter migration (maybe four or five flecks), but it didn’t seem like rapid migration nor did it stray into the far reaches of my face or hair or somehow wander to my feet. I have always loved that the Lipgelees come with 0.5 oz. of product–nearly double even large-sized glosses. After they wear away, they can sometimes feel gritty, because of the abundance of glitter.

The Glossover

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MAC Fashion Flower Lipgelees Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B
If you love your lips to sparkle beyond belief, you'll likely enjoy these Lipgelees--they are sparkle-tastic! Though the glitter doesn't seem to travel and migrate throughout the day, it may feel gritty after the gloss wears away and the glitter remains.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Chanel Pensee Glossimer
Chanel Pensee Glossimer

Chanel Summer 2011: Glossimers

For summer, there are three new shades of Chanel Glossimers ($28.50 for 0.19 oz.) that are limited edition. All three are varying degrees of sheer, but in general, they are on the sheerer end of the spectrum. Glossimers are designed as a sheerer formula often recommended for layering. Though the range varies from sheerer to more opaque, these don’t seem to deliver quite as much oomph as other Glossimers–perhaps because the base color is nearly invisible or the mix of shimmers does not stand out as much.

I love Chanel’s Glossimers for their highly reflective shimmer and comfortablep-to-wear formula. I typically get three to four hours of wear with them, but they are not sticky, which is rather noteworthy wear for a gloss without a tacky base.

  • Pensee (277) is a coral-orange with pink and gold shimmer. On my lips, it adds mostly glossiness and shimmer without much color.
  • Pink Peony (267) is a rosy pink with multi-colored shimmer, though predominantly pink and silver. Like Pensee, it is mostly just shine and shimmer when worn.
  • Aurore (287) is a pink and melon gold shimmered peach. It is highly reflective and almost a duochrome gloss. Of the three, this one seemed more unique and less dupe-able, though it is also quite sheer.

The Glossover

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Chanel Aurore, Pensee, Pink Peony Glossimers Review, Photos, Swatches

B
They are certainly shimmery and pretty when worn, but they do tend to look alike once applied. Aurore has the most depth and dimension to it, and I can see it selling well, particularly because anything pink-peach always seems to do well--regardless of the brand!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit
Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Neiman Marcus Exclusive: Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit ($95.00) is an exclusive set available at Neiman Marcus this spring. It contains a peony and python printed zippered makeup bag, Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, and two miniature-sized makeup brushes (face and lip).

  • Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer is a medium-dark pink with gold micro-glitter and sheen; it is slightly cool-toned, though it seems to shift between cool and neutral depending on how the light hits it. It applies rather sheerly but can be intensified for a more obvious blush.
  • Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss is an ultra sheer gloss that really has a clear base with pink and gold shimmer. This shade is available individually.
  • Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is a blackened burgundy brown. This shade is available individually.
  • Eye/Lip Brush is a miniature-sized brush with a glossy black cap that slips on and off. It’s not officially labeled, but it seems like a really narrow lip brush–not quite small enough to be a true eyeliner brush though it does seem to resemble the Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush a bit.
  • Face Brush is a fluffy, dome-shaped brush that resembles the Face Blender Brush. It seems wider and less tapered, though. It was soft against the skin.

The kit itself comes with a high price tag, but individually (though not all shades are available individually, the product type is), Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer would retail for $33, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss retails for $22, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is available for $21, and then assume $20 worth of brushes. The innards of the kit are worth approximately $96, but you also receive the printed makeup bag, too. There is a Peony & Python printed makeup bag available alone for $40, but I don’t know how the size compares to the one from the Neiman Marcus kit.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's a cute kit, and if you like every product in it, the price tag doesn't seem so difficult to pay.  If you were hoping for a value-packed deal, this isn't quite it.  The kit will complement cooler skin tones.  I wish the Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer was available individually!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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