Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Clarins Instant Light

Light on the Gloss with Clarins Instant Sun Light Gloss

Clarins Instant Sun Light Gloss SPF 6 ($18.00 for 0.04 oz.) are new for summer and come in three shades — Vanilla, Coral, and Cinnamon. Each is housed in a silver bullet of a pen that clicks up the gloss on a brush applicator.

  • Vanilla (01) is ultra sheer with a golden champagne shimmer and glossy sheen. It’s probably better suited over a lipstick or for those who love to show off their natural lip color.
  • Coral (02) is a medium coral–it’s very much a true coral, because it doesn’t lean orange or pink but somewhere perfectly in-between. It has a cinnamon gold shimmer strewn through the color. It’s much, much more pigmented in comparison to Vanilla–more like semi-opaque (but surprisingly opaque for a gloss as thin as this).
  • Cinnamon (03) is a lightened cinnamon brown with a little red in it and golden shimmer. It’s semi-sheer but nowhere near as pigmented as Coral is, but it’s not as invisible as Vanilla. I found this one applied rather splotchily in comparison to the other two. I had issues with getting the color to distribute evenly.

The gloss isn’t sticky, and it’s very lightweight; it has a thin consistency but comes with a dazzling sparkle. They have a sweetened scent, which I can’t quite put my finger on, but it’s there in both the scent and the taste–it is subtle, though. I get only an hour of wear with these, which is below average for me (I typically get two to three), and they’re not as hydrating as I’d expect. My lips aren’t a dried out mess, but they do seem to need a little extra TLC post-wear.  The SPF 6 is nice, though, particularly since you can’t smell or taste it.

The packaging is sleek, but given how little is housed inside, they start to seem a little bulky. It’s actually in the quantity that I get frustrated–most glosses fall somewhere between 0.10 oz. and 0.20 oz. in product, and the price varies from $14 to 30. Clarins Instant Sun Light Gloss comes in at $450/oz. as compared to Chanel at $142/oz., Dior at $126/oz., and Guerlain at $165/oz. It’s really a shame that they didn’t give you a little more product, because at $18, they seem rather affordable for a high-end brand. Clarins Gloss Appeal, which is comparable, is available for $21 for 0.18 oz., and I really couldn’t say what makes the click gloss so much better that it’d be worth it.

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

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

Recommendation: I would pass on these, and if you were interested in checking our Clarins Lip Gloss, opt for the Gloss Appeal, which has pretty shimmer in a better formula and more for your money.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Monday, June 14th, 2010

Smashbox Naked Beauty Lip Gloss Collection

Truly Barely There Lip Gloss with Smashbox

Smashbox Naked Beauty Lip Gloss Collection ($25.00 for 8 x 0.04 oz.) includes eight shades of sheer, barely-there lip gloss. The lip gloss itself is smooth, not too thin (but not thick), and non-sticky. They last about one to one and half hours on lips for me.

This set is part of Smashbox’s summer collection, and I did lip swatches but forgot to write down the order I did them in. Normally, I can figure out which shade is which, but these were all so sheer, most of them were indiscernible from the next. I planned to re-do the lip swatches, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet, and I’d like to at least review it in part before it’s no longer available for sale! (I guess you could say that since these ran so sheer, I was less than enthused at re-doing them.)

  • Buff is a sheer pinky-nude with white shimmer.
  • Sunkissed is a sheer reddish brown with gold shimmer.
  • Exposed is an ultra sheer, milky pink.
  • Bare is an ultra sheer pale, pastel milky pink with iridescent pink shimmer. This looked like clear gloss with very subtle shimmer on my lips.
  • Nude is a sheer, darkened peach-nude with gold shimmer. I found this one brightened up my natural lip color just a smidgen, but it was pretty colorless.
  • Naked is a pale gold with white gold shimmer. Like the other shades, it’s very sheer and looks like a colorless gloss with shimmer on lips.
  • Pure is a sheer watermelon pink. It looks a lot more pigmented in the swatch than it does on lips. What’s nice about this one is the pink does play-up the natural pink tones of your lip color and gives them a juicier look.
  • Natural is a sheer red-coral. Like Pure, it has that juicy look when worn, but the color is very, very hard to distinguish.

I think the set is a good value, and if you’re not necessarily a gloss person or you enjoy ultra sheer glosses, it’s worth a look-see. If you like gloss that’s pigmented, or you hate when items are limited edition, it’s not for you. Each lip gloss is pretty small (I’d guesstimate at 4-6 uses per container), but I didn’t see any of these show up in Smashbox’s permanent lip gloss ranges. Once you’re out, you’re out! They’re very travel-friendly, though, since their compact size makes them easy to toss anywhere without taking up much room at all. (Knowing me, I would easily lose these and find them in the couch!)

They definitely represent the theme of “Naked Beauty” quite well–they range from the ultra sheer to the sheer. Some have jelly-like appearances where there is no real shimmer, while other shades look frostier on lips. They all have a great glossy shine, though. I want to reiterate that Smashbox fully intended for these to be very sheer–they’re described as “barely there shades”–and they did exactly that. It’s not my cup of tea, but the product delivers exactly what it sets out to do.  I do wish that they’d varied up the shimmer more in the gloss — at least so the effect would be different, even if they didn’t add much color.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a barely-there gloss girl, you may enjoy these ultra sheer to sheer non-sticky glosses by Smashbox. If you’re looking for some color or enjoy more opaque glosses, don’t even think twice about passing on this set.

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Lipstick & Lipgloss Pic Spam, Vol. 1

I don’t know why, but for awhile, it seems like I have a bajillion lipsticks and glosses I want to share with you, but I feel a little odd reviewing more than one or two per day. I always think, “Nobody wants to see FIVE lipsticks in ONE day!” Some of these are getting a little “stale” and are on the verge of getting put in the “never going to review” folder, and thus, PIC SPAM!

  • Chanel Coral Reef (#88) Glossimer is a light peachy-pink base with lots of brightened gold-peach shimmer. Totally gorgeous, but I think this was limited edition. Probably from last summer’s collection. I believe I picked it out of my glossimers with the intention to include it in the Summer Season, but it’s hard to find, so it’s not appropriate for that series any more.
  • Bloom Sugar Lipstick is a sheer pale rose pink with subtle shimmer and a frosty finish.
  • Make Up For Ever #3 Glossy Full Couleur is a jelly tangerine-orange. On my lips, it doesn’t really do much. It gives them more of a coral look color-wise, but it does make them look rather juicy from the glossy finish and thick texture.
  • Tarina Tarantino Nouveau Lip Gloss is a blue-based medium-dark pink with a very glossy, jelly look. It has a very milky look, though it’s certainly not a milky pink by any means.
  • Too Faced Mood Swing Lip Gloss was just such a gimmicky product, I was loathe to review. They’re not a bad product, but the idea behind it was a little too much for me, personally. I also switched to including full face photos, so while I’ve meant to re-do some swatches, I just haven’t gotten around to it. And now they’re becoming stale!

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Friday, June 11th, 2010

Lancome Hot Number Lipgloss

The Summer Season: Lancome Hot Number Lipgloss

Lancome Hot Number Color Fever Gloss ($26.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a just-bitten kind of pink with silver shimmer. It is a weird color, because it doesn’t look like much swatched, but it really brightened my natural lip color and brought out natural redness I didn’t even know I had. It has a very glossy look while still being fairly sheer.  Color Fever Glosses are non-sticky while still being hydrating and lightweight on lips.  I like Lancome’s signature applicator–it’s like a sponge-tip wand, but yet not, and it really curves around lips well.

Is this the right pink for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

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Friday, June 11th, 2010

MAC Dazzle Lipstick
Dazzle Lipstick: Baby’s On Fire, Glaringly Hip, Hellraiser, Hot Sass, Infused with Glam

Preview: MAC Dazzle Lipstick & Dazzleglass from Digi-Pop

MAC Digi-Pops: Lip Server Collection is available for pre-order at your local Nordstrom. It doesn’t launch until July 15th, but pre-orders are in full swing. There are thirteen shades of new (and of course, limited edition!) Dazzle Lipsticks and seven shades (some new, some repromoted, but all limited edition) Dazzleglasses.

I didn’t test any of these my lips, so I really can’t comment on the wear or feel on the lips. (Sorry all, I couldn’t bring myself to use a tester — the germaphobe in me refused to participate!) The Dazzle Lipsticks did not feel gritty or rough when I swatched them–surprisingly smooth. They look like they varied from sheer to semi-sheer in color, but it’s difficult to know for sure just how sheer or opaque they may lean without swatching them on lips. (Which I fully intend to do, when I’m able to pick up my pre-order!)

Dazzle Lipstick ($14.00 U.S. / $16.50 CDN)

  • Baby’s On Fire is a sheer darkened ruby red with silver sparkle.
  • Glaringly Hip is a muted peach with brown undertones and pink and white glitter.
  • Hellraiser is a sheer, darkened mauve-plum with bluish-silver glitter.
  • Hot Sass is a semi-sheer, muted orange with reddish-copper glitter.
  • Infused with Glam is a warmed-up brown with red undertones and reddish glitter.
  • Liquid Lurex is a sheer yellow gray-gold with silver glitter.
  • Naughty You is a brightened medium pink with fuchsia glitter.
  • Smash Hit is a sheer beige-gold with darkened gold glitter.
  • Snazzy is a semi-sheer red plum with fuchsia-purple glitter.
  • Sweet Bits is a grayish lilac with multi-color glitter (predominantly light fuchsia). It’s kind of like Vex eyeshadow in lipstick form.
  • Troublemaker is a darkened red-pink with fuchsia glitter. It’s a darker, more opaque version of Naughty You.
  • Wham is a red-brown with gold and copper glitter.
  • Win-Win is a light baby pink with blue undertones and gold glitter.

Dazzleglass ($18.50 U.S. / $21.50 CDN)

  • Boys Go Crazy is a darkened plum-berry purple with iridescent purple and blue-violet glitter.
  • Fabulous Fun is a brightened fuchsia-pink with fuchsia-purple glitter.
  • Glamour OD is a brightened red with a touch of coral and pink glitter. This is a repromote.
  • Hi-Falutin’ is a softened peach-coral with gold glitter.
  • Spanking Rich is a softened pink mauve with fuchsia glitter. This is a repromote.
  • Utterly Posh is a darkened orange with a little brown and orange-gold glitter. This is a repromote.
  • You Got the Look is a brightened tangerine orange with almost teal glitter.

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Friday, June 11th, 2010

NARS Lipgloss Sephora Exclusives
NARS Lipgloss: Albatross, Angelika, Luster, Super Orgasm, Oasis

Preview: NARS Sephora Exclusive Lip Glosses

On July 29th, NARS will roll out five limited edition lip glosses at Sephora. Each will retail for $24 and is named after one of their best-selling blushes. The shades include: Albatross (luminous glow), Angelika (cotton candy pink with gold and silver sparkle), Oasis (sparkling pink champagne), Super Orgasm (peachy pink with gold glitter), and Luster (sheer golden apricot).

  • Albatross is a sheer white-gold with pale gold shimmer.
  • Angelika is a semi-sheer brightened blue-based pink with very subtle silver shimmer.
  • Luster is a sheer muted tangerine-peach with copper-gold shimmer.
  • Super Orgasm is a sheer played down pink with gold shimmer.
  • Oasis is a plummy mauve with gold shimmer.

NARS Lip Gloss has a thin, slightly tacky texture.  I found these a little stickier than the average NARS Lip Gloss.  Though I’ve only tried Albatross on my lips, they seemed on the sheerer side (which is standard for the brand’s glosses), so don’t expect a big pop of pigment.  They’re all easy-to-wear, everyday kind of shades.  Angelika is the brightest, but it sheers out quite a bit–it has a creamier, jelly-ish look in comparison to the other four, which definitely have more of a shimmer finish.

(I would happily do lip swatches for you, but these photos were taken at a NARS preview event that I attended in San Francisco yesterday, so all I got are swatches for now! Apologies!)

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