Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Smashbox Endless Kiss Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss
Smashbox Endless Kiss Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss

Smashbox Spring 2011: Endless Kiss

Smashbox In Bloom Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a pale coral-nude with subtle gold shimmer. On lips, it’s virtually colorless, while it does add a glossy shine. This is a new and limited edition shade from Smashbox’s spring collection. This gloss has an angled doe-foot applicator that’s thin and pointed, which makes it easier to maneuver on thinner lips.

my thoughts on the formula: It’s a thicker, nearly non-sticky but it has this faint tackiness, along with a subtle, spiced vanilla scent. I have not found the majority of the range to have much pigmentation, so the differences between each gloss is minimal. They last four hours on me, which is shy of the six they’re proposed to last. My concern with these glosses in the amount you get — a mere 0.10 oz. Most glosses are more like 0.20 oz.  They do have SPF 15 in them, which is a nice touch.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: From what I’ve read and seen, these are not meant to deliver a lot of color but are more about high shine with longer-lasting results.

where to buy: Sephora

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Lipglasses
MAC Wonder Woman Lipglasses: Athena’s Kiss, Emancipation, Secret Identity, Wonder Woman

MAC Wonder Woman: Lipglasses

MAC WONDER WOMAN LIPGLASS ($19.50 for 0.37 oz.) include four shades: Athena’s Kiss (bright blue fuchsia), Emancipation (pale neutral pink), Secret Identity (mid-tone copper with soft pearl), and Wonder Woman (bright red with soft pearl). All four shades are new and limited edition.

  • Athena’s Kiss is a semi-opaque cool-toned fuchsia pink with white and fuchsia shimmer. It is more pigmented than Electric Fuchsia. It’s a touch darker and less creamy than True Babe.
  • Emancipation is a semi-sheer, champagne-shimmered pale beige. It is similar to Feeling Dreamy, Runway Fave, more pigmented Bare Necessities.
  • Secret Identity is a semi-sheer rusted orange with lighter orange shimmer. It applies rather unevenly, though. It’s a darker version of Kumquat.
  • Wonder Woman is a semi-opaque true red with gold shimmer. I really, really wanted to love this, but it applied a little unevenly and didn’t look as opaque on my lips as it did when swatched. It is less blue-based compared to Wicked Ways. It is also similar to Venetian, though more pigmented.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipglasses are vanlla-scented, and they are typically thick and sticky. However, because of their tackiness, they do tend to wear better and longer (four hours for me). The Wonder Woman Lipglasses feel pretty thick, but they seem slightly less tacky than is the norm.

These are jumbo-sized, and for the extra $4-5 on the price tag (lipglass is normally $14.50, but with the special packaging, they would be $15.50), you are getting over double the amount in a regular lipglass (0.17 oz.). In essence, you are paying $52.70/oz. instead of $85.29/oz.

I did have trouble with these over-sized lipglasses, though.  Every time I went to pull out the applicator, a dollop of gloss would find its way on my desk, pants, or carpet.  Even when I gently and slowly pulled out the wand, it still occurred.  The fit is rather tight, so I suppose when you pull out the wand, the gloss has to go somewhere…

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

final thoughts: Emancipation and Wonder Woman should suit many skin tones from light to dark, cool to warm. Athena’s Kiss is workable on most, but it does complement cooler complexions more. Secret Identity is most suitable to warmer skin tones, because of the orange.  If you have thin lips, you probably won’t find the over-sized applicator so fun.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman: Video Review (Part 2 – Cheeks & Lips)

First impressions/preliminary review of the blushes, mineralize skinfinishes, lipsticks, and lipglasses from the MAC Wonder Woman Collection. I always film these as I swatch, so it is the first time seeing the products for me in the video as well.

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

MAC Decorative Lustreglass
MAC Decorative Lustreglass

The Sultry Season: MAC Decorative Lustreglass

MAC Decorative Lustreglass ($14.50 for 0.17 oz.) is a semi-sheer, darkened red-plum with gold, pink, and red shimmer.  It has a thin texture but still delivers some color along with plenty of shimmer and glossiness.

my thoughts on the formula: Lustreglass is thinner and less sticky than MAC’s Lipglsas.  Lustreglass still has a very glass-like shine, though.  It also comes with a brush-type applicator, rather than a sponge-tipped one.  Opacity varies from shade to shade, with some being ultra sheer and others being semi-sheer to semi-opaque.  I get three to four hours of wear with Lustreglass.

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

final thoughts: If lipglass is too heavy, thick, or sticky for you, consider trying Lustreglass.  I think MAC’s Lustreglasses are a bit underrated, because they have the same beautiful sparkle and shine of Lipglasses but a thinner texture and are barely tacky.  Decorative works well with both cool and warmer skin tones, though it does pull a bit cool on me.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Friday, January 21st, 2011

Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette
Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette

Pretty in Pink with Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette ($60.00 for 0.36 oz.) is an all-inclusive face palette with four eyeshadows, one blush, two lip glosses, and one lip color. It includes: Ivory (creamy white), Pink Flannel (nude pink), Pink Chiffon (bright pink with shimmer), Chocolate Caviar (deep chocolate brown), Pretty Pink (warm baby pink), Soiree Pink (baby pink with silver flecks), Bubble Bath (bright neutral pink), and Sandwash (beige pink). It shares one overlapping shade (Chocolate Caviar) with the Powerful palette.

  • Ivory is neutral-cool white. This is a matte eyeshadow, and it is part of the permanent range.
  • Pink Flannel is a muted gray-rose with great color pay off and no chalkiness. It is nicely pigmented and very creamy, not at all chalky. This is a matte eyeshadow.
  • Pink Chiffon is a white-shimmered petal pink with an inherent sheerness because of its finish. This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Chocolate Caviar is a deep, dark cool-toned chocolate brown This is a matte eyeshadow.
  • Pretty Pink is a blue-based medium pink with a near matte finish. This is a blush.
  • Soiree Pink is a sheer confection of gold and pink shimmer; it has a milky pink base, but it really didn’t seem to show up on lips. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Bubble Bath is a cool-toned medium pink with a glossy shine. This is a lip gloss.
  • Sandwash is a nearly opaque, plummy pink with a cream finish. This is a lipstick.

The palette contains 0.09 oz. of Eyeshadow ($22.50 value), 0.04 oz. Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow ($7.50 value), 0.14 oz. of blush ($23.69 value), 0.028 oz. of Shimmer Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), 0.028 of Glitter Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), and 0.035 oz. of Lip Color ($6.42 value). It total value of the products inside the palette sums to $68.11, while the palette itself costs $60. It’s not a value-packed palette, but you’re getting your money’s worth.

Just like the Powerful, all of the shades were pigmented, and the matte shades were nice and creamy, with the exception of Chocolate Caviar which was slightly drier. Again, both glosses are rather sheer with the lip color being more opaque. The Pretty palette coordinates better within itself, though, which is really nice to see.

I love the sleek packaging, and I think the typography on the outside cover of the palette is beautiful. Bobbi Brown’s campaign of Pretty. Powerful. is really a fantastic slogan, so I’m all for it being emblazoned across the palette itself. Though I’m not personally that fond of palettes that mix powders with gloss or creams, I do like that Bobbi Brown’s palettes always seem to have deeper wells and a very tightly clasping palette to minimize powder migration.

P.S. — In case you missed it, I reviewed the Powerful palette earlier.

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

final thoughts: For those who like palettes that make their mornings easier, Bobbi Brown’s Pretty palette may just be one of those. With eyeshadows, blush, and lip color all in one go all housed in a slim palette, it is easy to travel with. This one certainly works better as a standalone palette, and the cooler tones of the palette make it more flattering on cooler skin tones.

where to buy: Bobbi Brown

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Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Dior Pink Veil (654) Ultra Gloss
Dior Pink Veil (654) Ultra Gloss

Dior Spring 2011: Trianon Silver

Dior Trianon Silver (707) Ultra Gloss ($26.50 for 0.21 oz.) is a a sheer silvered-gray hued gloss with silver, white, and fuchsia micro-shimmer. It seemed quite reminiscent of Chanel Aragonite, but when worn, they look quite different–Dior has a much finer shimmer with a milkier pale base that gives lips a paler, whiter look, while Chanel’s shimmer seems to catch more light. From afar, they look similar when worn.

The strength of Ultra Gloss lies in its formula–I really think it’s the feel and look of the product that makes this gloss worth checking out. It is a moisturizing lipgloss with a very smooth, slick feel–it’s very comfortable to wear–with a shimmering sparkle that’s noticeable without being overwhelming. It’s completely non-sticky and has no scent or taste. All these characteristics leads me to think that a lot of lipgloss fans will enjoy them. I did find that these only lasted just under two hours on me, and then all that remained was the shimmer/micro glitter, and I’d say this was the major downside of this gloss.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: The formula is slick and comfortable to wear without being drying, though it only lasts a couple of hours.  This shade is on the sheerer side, but I’m sure that’s for the better, given it is also a silvery gray.  It should suit all skin tones, both from the lack of traditional color and sheerness.  It can also be used to layer over vampy shades for more depth.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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