Thursday, April 8th, 2010

MAC Prep for Colour Collection
Just Add Colour Lipglass (note, sample packaging)

MAC Prep for Colour Collection

The Prep for Colour Collection is a short and sweet collection. I’m not even sure why they bothered with any color cosmetics, and I could have gone for repromotes of great permanent neutrals, too — just because MAC does have a great neutral range. The collection includes one lipglass ($14), three eyeshadows ($14.50), Prep + Prime Skin Brightening Serum ($40), Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 ($30), and Prep + Prime Fortified Skin Enhancer SPF 35/PA+++ ($30).  I don’t have photos of Prepped for Glamour Eyeshadow yet, which I will purchase when it launches in-store on Thursday (so check back then!).

  • Hey Eyeshadow is is a gilded beige-champagne with a touch of peach.  It was a very shimmery, frosty finish.  For reference, it is a veluxe pearl finish, though!  This is a repromote from Fafi, but I know a lot of you love this shade.
  • Sorcery Eyeshadow is a burgundy-brown with a satin finish–it’s not entirely matte, but it’s not overly shimmery, either.  It has more of a satin sheen.  It reminded me of a a lighter version of Sketch.
  • Prepped for Glamour Eyeshadow is a darkened chocolate brown with a taupe edge to it.  It’s sheerer and lighter than Satin Taupe, but it also has less of a frosty sheen.  Pretty, but if you already have Satin Taupe, you could probably skip this.
  • Just Add Colour Lipglass is a reddened, dark fuchsia pink with fuchsia-pink shimmer.  It’s a frost finish lipglass, and though my sample comes in a square tube, online shows it in a regular lipglass tube, so don’t buy because it’s square :)  It’s a very pigmented, color-rich gloss–so if you’ve always wanted a darker pink than Pink Poodle but still very intense, this might be it.
  • Prep + Prime Brightening Serum is a clear, slightly watery liquid that pumps out.  It’s hard to describe — it’s cool and thin, and it absorbs into skin quite quickly.  I haven’t used it long enough to really be able to tell you about results, but I can at least tell you about the consistency!  Hopefully will have more for you later on in April…

There are no must-haves in this collection from me. While all the color products in this launch are high quality and well-pigmented, they’re not necessarily must-haves.  Hey is the closest to a must-have, but I think you could easily substitute All That Glitters, Gleam, or Retrospeck in its place.  Sorcery is too similar to Sketch and Beautymarked, while Prepped for Glamour is quite similar to Satin TaupeJust Add Colour Lipglass is pretty, but again, just doesn’t strike me as a must-have.  You can’t go wrong with any of the four, so this is more of a “there’s nothing super-duper original or so awesomely pigmented you have to get it” kind of a review.

Skip if you have…

  • Skip Hey if you have All That Glitters, Gleam, or Retrospeck (unless you use these 24/7, then you’ll probably love Hey!).
  • Skip Sorcery if you have Sketch or Beautymarked, particularly if you don’t use those very often.
  • Skip Prepped for Glamour if you have Satin Taupe, unless you’ve always secretly wanted Satin Taupe but didn’t like how frosty it was.

So, are you stopping by MAC (or shopping online!) for Prep for Colour or are you waiting until Pret-a-Papier?

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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Soft Pink Lips for Summer

Chanel Les Pop-Up de Chanel Collection launches a new, but lonesome, shade of glossimer in Bikini Peach (#257). It’s a creamy, milky pink with yellow undertones and a soft, champagne shimmer with a glossy sheen. I can’t remember owning other creamy glossimers, so it’s an interesting shade for me. Despite its creaminess, it doesn’t settle too much into lip lines, and from a normal viewing distance, it just looks like a soft pink lip. I like that there’s enough color that it doesn’t read pasty on my warmer skin tone, as many milky pinks often do. It’s a fun, easy-to-wear shade that can be worn alone or layered over a lipstick, depending on what you’re going for.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love a dazzling, moisturizing lip gloss in a milky pink shade, you may like this one. It’s suitable for both cool and warm skin tones, because it is more of a neutral, if slightly warm, pink.

Availability: May 2010

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Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Two-Minute Reviews: CoverGirl Eyeshadow Palette, Physicians Formula Healthy Glow, Smashbox Heartbreaker

The concept behind two-minute reviews is mostly products that I photographed, swatched, but I never ended up reviewing.  Rather than just bury the photos into the “Unlikely to Review” folder and never let them see the light of day, I decided that perhaps a quickie review was better than no review at all… Let me know if you’d rather a quickie review than no review :)

CoverGirl Vibrant Browns (#700) Eyeshadow Palette ($7.49) is a palette that features four shades of eyeshadow: a softened, matte black with glitter overlay, subdued blue-toned sheer gray with silver sheen, muted copper with orange-gold shimmer and frost finish, and an incredibly sheer white with sheen. The colors are all on the sheerer side, and the shadows themselves just don’t grab me. I think one or two more muted shades might work, but these altogether just don’t. I find the gold too warm to work with the coolness of the black and gray. Quick Rating: C-

Physicians Formula Healthy Glow Shimmer Strips ($11.95) reminded me of Bobbi Brown’s Shimmerbricks. Healthy Glow is a gradation of light, icy pink to a muted raspberry pink. The colors are better used together rather than alone, as individually, they’re not very pigmented. Together, they create a lightened raspberry with a frosty white sheen. This is great for those with closer-to-flawless skin, because it’s pretty and shimmery–but if you have larger pores, the high frost finish will accentuate them. For a drugstore blush, though, the price is a little steeper than I’d like to see. Quick Rating: B

Smashbox Heartbreaker Collection looked super cute in the promos, but I wasn’t loving it when I saw some of the pieces in person. In fact, I loved the actual box packaging infinitely more than the product packaging! The boxes are cute with doodles and polaroids on it–just sweet and fitting for the theme. The shiny white plastic makes it look and feel on the cheap side, and Smashbox really isn’t a cheap brand. I tend to think of Smashbox as more of a mid-to-high end brand. I tried three products: Starlight Fusion Soft Lights ($30), Rollerball Lip Gloss ($21), and Liquid Liner Pen ($24). I reviewed the eyeliner previously, but I never got around to the other two products. Despite looking rather vibrant in the pan, Starlight is a very soft, lightened raspberry sorbet with a soft champagne sheen. It didn’t show up very well on my medium skin tone, so I wasn’t never driven to wear it in a look (hence this quickie review!). Quick Rating: C+

The Rollerball Lip Gloss was very much the same — it’s clear gloss with icy white shimmer. It’s very slightly pink tinged, but on lips, it looks clear. I also felt like the Rollerball packaging made me feel like I was using Bonne Bell (which is fine… if I’m paying Bonne Bell prices!). Quick Rating: C-

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Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Chanel Venus (124) Glossimer
Chanel Venus Glossimer

The Summer Season: Chanel Venus (#124) Glossimer

Chanel Venus (#124) Glossimer ($27.00) is a dazzling shade of brightened rosy pink with iridescent fuchsia and gold sparkle. This shade, apparently, released last summer, but it’s still available at Nordstrom (which means I’m still allowed to feature it, woo!), so you can grab it there if you love it enough to buy! :) I love this shade in particular for its color pay off and glittering shimmer. Glossimers always look best in the sunlight, by the by, because they look phenomenal–truly like shimmering water. It’s a very slicked, wet, and dazzling look. Glossimers are incredibly glossy with a medium-thick formula that’s not overly sticky. I get about three to four hours of wear when I wear a Glossimer on its lonesome.

P.S. — Wouldn’t this look FABULOUS over Guerlain Giulette? I think I may have to do that this week!

Is this the right pink gloss 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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Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Urban Decay Pocket Rockets

Urban Decay’s Summer Pocket Rockets: Max & Colin

Urban Decay’s Pocket Rocket Lip Glosses ($19.00 for 0.27 oz.) are non-sticky, thick enough to be moisturizing but thin enough not to feel heavy, and have a burnt caramel scent (well, creme brulee, officially). I’ve always found the Pocket Rockets to be a little gimmicky for my taste, but the formula is really cushy–it gives lips a slightly plumper, fuller look (without actually plumping).

After reviewing a fair amount of Urban Decay lip products, I’ve noticed that there’s a definite debate on whether the scent of their lip products is yay or nay. It doesn’t bother me, but if you’re sensitive or particular about your scents, you may want to give these a sniff in-store before purchasing.

  • Max is a semi-opaque pinky-nude cream with a glossy finish. Since it’s creamy and pale, it does settle a bit into lip lines, but it’s not too bad.
  • Colin is almost like a coral-red that applies sheerly for the most part, but it does add quite a bit of red to your pucker. It kind of looks like you’ve been eating cherries and slicked some gloss on afterward. I found it did fall into my lip lines a tad, but again, from a normal viewing distance, it’s not a big deal. I did, however, think this one tended to give my lips a more splotchy look–I think the color may not work for me so much!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love the idea of a gloss that also features a half-naked man, you might get a kick out of Urban Decay’s Pocket Rockets. There’s a nice non-sticky and moisturizing gloss that comes along with the near-nude model, too!

Availability: Urban Decay

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Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Chanel Gloss Fluo de Chanel

Chanel Les Pop-Up de Chanel:  Gloss Fluo de Chanel

I admit, when I initially saw photos the new Gloss Fluo de Chanel ($27) from Chanel’s Les Pop-Up de Chanel Collection, I was pretty excited. Bright fuchsia AND coral? That’s so me. Of course I’d be drawn to them! But I am sad to report that they’re incredibly sheer. (This is why one should not get excited purely by looking at photos!) I was curious as to why they appeared fluorescent in their tubes but ultra sheer on lips, so I figured I’d better take a harder look at what they are *supposed* to be.

Chanel describes Gloss Fluo de Chanel as, “Hot colour and high-wattage shine. The electric effect of bright, sheer, light GLOSS FLUO DE CHANEL Brilliant Lip Shine mixes and matches with equally vivid shades of ROUGE ALLURE Luminous Satin Lip Colour and LE VERNIS Nail Colour — perfect for going from the beach to a night out.”

So, they had me. They suckered me in! Gloss Fluo is *designed* to be “bright, sheer, light.” Is it just me or is that description kind of confusing? Bright and sheer? What? The way I review and rate a product is always based on what the product is supposed to do, not necessarily what I think it should do. I’m going to give Chanel the benefit of the doubt and just go with these are supposed to be sheer, lightweight “glosses” rather than over the top, electric color. Okay, now that that’s out of the way…

Gloss Fluo makes an excellent lip balm. It’s one of the weirdest “glosses” I’ve played with, because it doesn’t have the texture of the gloss. It’s like a squishy jelly in a glossimer tube. They’re sheer with no real shimmer but have a fairly glossy sheen/look to them.

  • Laser looks like a brightened fuchsia pink in the tube but applies more like a lightened baby pink with just a smidgen of fuchsia in it. On my lips, it just gives it that slicked pinked pucker look — a tiny bit of enhanced rosiness to my natural lip color with lots of pretty glossiness.
  • Pop looks like an electric coral-orange, but when swatched on skin, it takes on a much pinker hue. It’s more like a pink-coral than orange at all. On my lips, Pop looks like I put on a clear lipgloss–seriously. It does less for me than Laser, unfortunately.

So, they’re some of the sheerest lip products I’ve used that weren’t actually lip balm, but Gloss Fluos are ridiculously moisturizing without being heavy. I’d wear this to bed! For those who love glossier, thicker lip balms but hate that most of them are only available in pot-form, this might be something to consider. Since they apply straight out of a tube with a doe-foot wand, it makes it easy to apply, travel with, and use on the go. Not to mention, the sheerness makes it easy to apply without making mistakes. Gloss Fluos feel like a slippery jelly on lips–non-sticky, thick without being heavy or goopy. They did remind me a bit of MAC’s Tendertones, but in a gloss tube instead.

I want to reiterate that as far as I can tell, Chanel wanted these to be sheer. They will work well with the lipsticks from the launch, as those are more vibrant (I’ve tried only one, but the other two seem promising), and designed to be more pigmented. I think these work as a moisturizing lip balm with a glossy finish, but I’m not sure I’d put my $27 towards a Chanel lip balm. It’s heaven on the lips, but I’d probably opt for one of Chanel’s Glossimers or Rouge Allures for the price and opt for a cheaper lip balm.

Don’t get me wrong, though, because these made my lips sigh in relief after a round of lip swatching. They were instantly hydrating, smooth, and wore for hours and kept my lips moisturized all afternoon.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If the idea of a clear but glossy, ultra moisturizing lip balm in a tube gets your engine running and you don’t mind paying a little extra to get Chanel, you may like these.  Not a must-have if you’ve found a solid balm that doesn’t break the bank already!

Availability: May 2010

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