Saturday, August 14th, 2010

MAC Venomous Villains - Cruella
MAC Venomous Villains — Cruella de Vil

MAC Disney Venomous Villains Collection: Cruella de Vil Review, Photos, Swatches

There are four “parts” to the collection, with each part being represented by each of the characters. After much indecision, I finally committed to reviewing everything by character, rather than product type! First up is Cruella de Vil, the villainness from 101 Dalmatians. Cruella’s “collection” includes two lipsticks, two lipglasses, three eyeshadows, one Penultimate eyeliner, one beauty powder, and one blush.

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)

  • Wicked Ways is a brightened cherry red that’s semi-opaque with subtle golden shimmer.  I think this is going to be a very nice red on both warm and cool skin tones.  It leans just a tiny bit blue, I’d say… but very close to neutral.
  • Devilishly Stylish is a semi-sheer white-shimmered, slightly champagne nude. Not exactly the most original shade, but with some darker eye/lip products, will be a nice relief for those who need something softer.

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

  • Innocence, Beware! is a semi-opaque pinky nude with a cremesheen finish. It’s a little glossy, not overly creamy, and I found it accentuated every imperfection on my lips. Make sure to exfoliate shortly before applying this shade. It seems like a pinker Blankety or paler Plink!, as well as in the family of nudes like Creme d’Nude and Hue.  This shade is more opaque than the latter three, but the texture is best in Hue (smoother, less accentuating of flaws).
  • Heartless is an almost neutral red that applies nearly opaque; if it leans in any direction, I would say slightly orange, but it really seems closer to neutral. It has an amplified finish. The closest dupe in the permanent MAC range seems like it would be Brave Red or perhaps Ladybug (which is probably a bit sheerer).

Blush ($19.50 U.S. / $23.50 CDN)

  • Darkly My Dear dirtied brown with just a mere hint of plum. It looks plummer in the pan than it is in actuality–it’s rather brown when worn. It can be built up or used sheerly depending on the look you’re going for. It’s kind of like a browner, much darker version of Blushbaby. It’s supposed to have a matte finish, but it seems like it has a hint of pearl/satin sheen to it, though very near matte on cheeks.

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

  • Sweet Joy is a pale gold with soft yellow undertones and a frost finish. This was originally included in the Passions of Red holiday palette (quite awhile ago). It’s similar to Dreammaker (Starflash) but less frosty; also similar to Creme Royale (Hello Kitty) and Creme de Miel (Style Warriors). It’s yellower than Nylon, much less gold/yellow than Goldmine.
  • De-vil is darkened, orange-y copper with a veluxe pearl finish. It’s just the tiniest bit less red and a hair darker than Coppering, darker and deeper than Amber Lights (not even really comparable, IMO). It seems a little darker than Brash (Cult of Cherry), possibly similar to Courage (Untamed).  But it’s really close to Coppering.
  • Carbon is a matte black–can be packed on for an intense black, but like some mattes, better applied than swatched. This is a permanent shade.

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

  • Her Own Devices is a sheered out champagne-shimmered medium nude. It gives just a hint of color on my NC25 skin (“medium”), but I think it maybe a nice shade for highlighting medium to dark skin tones, because it’s natural but it has shimmer–since it’s not pale, it won’t turn darker complexions ashy.  I’ve had a few readers ask about how it compares to Shell Beauty Powder, but the two look completely different on me.

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Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Lipgloss
Dolce & Gabbana Lipgloss: Charm, Candy

Dolce & Gabbana Lipgloss: Charm & Candy

Dolce & Gabbana Lipgloss ($29.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a slightly tacky, mostly glossy, lipgloss. These have a shine that’s glossier than your average lipgloss, so lips look very lush and juicy. I’ve tried a few different shades of Dolce & Gabbana’s lipglosses, and they seem to be on the sheerer side, with nothing being completely opaque. I like that they’re moisturizing, and they fade really well when they wear away. I only get about two to three hours of wear, which is a little below average for me. These glosses are rose-scented but don’t seem to have any taste.

  • Charm is a sheer medium pink with fuchsia and ruby sparkle.
  • Candy is a semi-sheer milky medium pink with no shimmer just a glossy shine.

With just 0.13 oz. in a tube (compared to 0.20 oz. for other high-end brands like Chanel, Guerlain, and YSL), these are pricey.  Overall, they’re nice glosses, but it’s not quite the holy grail.  For the price tag, I’d probably opt for Chanel or Guerlain glosses instead–or perhaps Dior’s Ultra Gloss.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: These are definitely a splurge item.  If you’re able to check out the line in person and you find a shade that really works for you, I think it’s worth getting.  But if you’re just shopping around for a new gloss, there are a few others I’d consider before these.

AVAILABILITY: Dolce & Gabbana Lipgloss

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Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Illamasqua Gender Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Gender Intense Lipgloss

Makeup That’s Just Pure FUN!

Illamasqua Gender Intense Lipgloss (£12.50 for 0.2 fl. oz.) is not a wearable shade by any stretch of the imagination.  This is a shade that completely embodies the word fun.  It’s different; it’s unusual.  It’s something to be used for that just-right-occasion, which might be Halloween for some, an avant garde photo-session with your best pals, or lightly patted on over your favorite lipstick to give it a bluish cast.

Gender is a medium blue that leans a little teal–it’s described as a sky blue, but it definitely had this teal edge to it that made me think less sky blue.  I could not smile in swatch photos – it just did not look right!  I felt like it made a mockery of the shade, so “straight faced” it was.

It’s almost opaque, but it didn’t apply as evenly or as solidly as other Intense shades have in the past.  I would probably lay down a concealer/foundation base (or even a blue eyeliner) and then use a lip brush to apply this–I think that would help it look more even.   This is a shade that’s only available through Illamasqua; you won’t find it at your local Sephora!

The Glossover

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Monday, August 2nd, 2010

OCC Lip Tars for Fall 2010
Lip Tars: Trollop, Harlot, Stalker, Trick, Strutter

Sneak Peek: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Fall Lip Tars

Just in time for fall, OCC will launch six new shades of Lip Tars ($12.50 for oz.) on August 27th. The shades include: Trick (blank slate), Trollop (cranberry-infused coral), Harlot (ultimate fiery, cool-toned red), Stalker (truest red), Strutter (mahogany-toned classic red), and Strumpet (deep plum-toned red).

  • Trick is a browned peach nude. This is definitely a shade that’s better worn with a more dramatic eye than alone–by itself, it is a little light.
  • Trollop is a bright watermelon pink coral. It practically glows, because it’s almost neon–very, very bright!
  • Harlot is a bright, blood red. This seems like an orange-based red to me, even though it’s described as a cool-toned shade. For an orange-based red, it’s certainly one of the least warm shades I’ve tried, though–but it still pulls orange on me.
  • Stalker is a dark, blood red. It’s darker and more blue-based than Harlot.
  • Strutter is a deep browned red. I like that it’s not ultra dark, so it doesn’t lose its red edge.

It’s been quite awhile since I initially reviewed Lip Tars (actually, just over a year!), and it’s kind of exciting to see how much the line has grown. A year ago, there were only thirteen shades to review, and today, there are thirty-two shades available. One of areas of improvement I wanted to see was for a fuller range of colors–shades that were just as intensely pigmented but wearable right out of the tube, because not everybody wants to mix shades (or buy five or six shades so they can get their mixology on).

Lip Tars are incredibly pigmented and you need very little to get full-color coverage–I’m totally serious: squeeze lightly! They’re pretty easy to apply just using the slanted squeeze-tube that they come out of, but if you want true precision, a lip brush will work wonders. If you use just the barest amount, they will dry down to a satin finish, but if you add a little more, it gives a slightly glossier look. These will wear four to five hours without trouble, and even nude shades like Trick stained a little (so darker shades most definitely stain)–even after a few minutes! They smell like peppermint (from the peppermint oil), but they are fragrance-free. They don’t really taste like much to me personally.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you want opaque color that doesn’t feel heavy and wears well, Lip Tars are definitely that. Now, you can get your hands on some excellent colors that work straight outta the tube–no more mixing required!

AVAILABILITY: OCC Makeup

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Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

MAC Dare to Wear Lipglass
Lipglass: Wind Me Up, Bold & Brash, So Bad, Gimme That!, Dare to Dare, Ban This!

MAC Dare to Wear: Lipglasses

New and limited edition, MAC Dare to Wear Lipglasses ($18.00 for 0.17 oz.) are like more pigmented, more refined dazzleglasses.  They’re much smoother than dazzleglasses, even as they wear down–the shimmer is incredibly fine to the point where I couldn’t feel it at all when I smooshed my lips together.  These are tacky, though; they are not quite as sticky as traditional Lipglass, but my lips do stick a good bit when I press them together.  Like other MAC lip products, these have their signature vanilla scent as well.

The formula feels creamy, slick, and thin when worn.  It’s not a heavy or thick gloss–not like Lipglass in terms of texture at all.  It takes several passes to get enough product to cover the lips though; I found that not enough product was coming through the tube as I pulled out the wand.   The majority of these weren’t fully opaque; they were certainly close to it, but not quite there.  I do like that they’re a mix of shimmer and rich color, because it makes it a nice two-in-one product.  You don’t have to worry about using a separate lip brush to apply a light, shimmered gloss on top of your wicked pigmented lipstick with these.

When worn by itself, it wears well–I had three hours and going strong, and then I had a creamy pasta dish for lunch.  I’d say 40% made it through lunch — not bad.  You could get away without touching up, but a touch up would still be needed, ideally.

  • Wind Me Up is a coppery browned peach. It’s semi-opaque with a base color of semi-sheer peachy brown color and a high dosage of copper and gold shimmer that lends help to making it look more opaque. This is most flattering on warmer skin tones, since it has stronger orange and copper tones.
  • Bold & Brash is a bright red with fuchsia and ruby micro-shimmer. This is the most opaque shade of the six. I had trouble discerning whether it was a blue- or orange-based red, just because it seemed to change depending on the lighting. I think this is a red that will look good on a variety of skin tones.
  • So Bad is a medium-dark coral melon semi-sheer color base with multi-colored micro-shimmer with predominantly light pink particles. Overall, it’s semi-sheer to semi-opaque. I’d say this is the most wearable of the six.
  • Gimme That! is a brightened fuchsia with a hint of raspberry. It has lots of fuchsia and purple micro-shimmer. It applies nearly opaque.
  • Dare to Dare is a light medium pink semi-sheer color base with white and pink micro-shimmer to make it appear more opaque. This is a very wearable shade, but it is also a little blah. Why is it called Dare to Dare? It pulls a little cool, so it would naturally suit those with cooler undertones, but I think it will work on warmer skin tones, too.
  • Ban This! is a deep wine berry with violet and fuchsia micro-shimmer. It’s semi-opaque, and it has more of a stained look than the thicker, more opaque looks of the other shades.

Recommendations by Skin Tone

  • Light:  So Bad, Gimme That!, Dare to Dare, Ban This!
  • Medium:  Wind Me Up, Bold & Brash, Gimme That!, Ban This!
  • Dark:  Bold & Brash, So Bad, Gimme That!, Ban This!

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t mind a little tackiness to along with richer but still ultra shimmery color, you may want to check out the new formula.

AVAILABILITY: MAC

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Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Korres Liquid Lipstick
Korres Liquid Lipstick: 25, 28, 30, 54, 56

Fall Makeup Trend: Opaque Lipgloss

Korres Liquid Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a new, water-based liquid lipstick that should appeal to lipgloss and lipstick lovers alike. It’s a very thin formula, and it is incredibly easy to apply. The color is absolutely opaque in a single layer–this is not something you need to layer or use much of at all. The formula also contains “natural raspberry and pomegranate extracts” as the included antioxidants to “protect against free-radical damage and smooth lip lines.”

My lip lines were certainly less noticeable, but I couldn’t say if it was ingredient based for sure–I think the richness of the color and the glossiness of the formula both contributed to the fuller, smoother lip look I had when I wore these. Given that the swatches are taken within seconds of application, I think I’d attribute those immediate results to the pigmentation and finish.

  • #25 Natural is a medium coral that leans neither pink nor orange. It’s opaque, and it has a nice glossiness to it. It has an almost imperciptible touch of white shimmer underneath it.
  • #28 Berry is a brightened fuchsia-red with warm white micro-shimmer. This is incredibly opaque, and though it is bright, it is also a darker shade.
  • #30 Nude Beige is a browned nude with subtle white micro-shimmer and nearly opaque color. It feels almost cool, but it has significant brown, and perhaps even peach, undertones, so it should work well for both cool and warm skin tones.
  • #54 Fuchsia is a bright fuchsia pink with the same imperceptible shimmer that was in #25. It is a pinker version of #28 Berry–they look surprisingly similar, though this shade is obviously brighter and lighter.  It reminded me of a pinker version of Illamasqua Follow.
  • #56 Red is a bold and bright tomato red with subtle white micro-shimmer. This is the most opaque shade of the five, though they’re all rather opaque. This has a stronger orange undertone, so those who prefer more blue-based reds may not find this to their liking.

These have a vanilla mint kind of scent to them; not exactly the most appealing scent to my nose, but it doesn’t linger. The Liquid Lipsticks also have a slight cooling/tingling sensation–it’s not a burning or stinging feeling. It’s just that minty tingling you’d get with any mint-based product (gum, toothpaste, lip gloss…). I found the cooling sensation dissipated within five to ten minutes, and it really wasn’t strong to begin with (which I think is a good thing, personally!).

It’s a thin formula that’s very lightweight, and it wears for a solid four hours or so.  I didn’t notice too much staining, despite the richness of colors, which may be a good or bad thing, depending on your tastes!

It definitely seems like opaque gloss may be a major trend for the fall season. MAC’s Dare to Wear Lipglasses are supposed to be intensely pigmented, while Guerlain and Chanel appear to be launching similarly opaque, richly colored glosses during fall/winter.

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: If you like rich, opaque lip color and love the feel of lip gloss over lipstick, this is a great product for you. The shade range is-overall–a little bold, but there are still two everyday shades available (#25 and #30).

AVAILABILITY: Korres, Sephora

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