Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Dior Intimate Bronze Ultra Gloss
Dior Intimate Bronze Ultra Gloss

Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive:  Dior Ultra Gloss

Dior Intimate Bronze (522) Ultra Gloss ($26.50 for 0.21 fl. oz.) is a semi-sheer shade of bronzed nude with gold and copper micro-shimmer.   I’ve reviewed several other Ultra Glosses in the past, and Intimate Bronze has the same non-sticky, moisturizing formula.  It’s very comfortable to wear, even though it slips away within an hour or two and leaves behind a hint of shimmer as it wears away.  I like this particular shade because you can easily wear it alone, but you can also use it to add a bit of sunkissed bronze to your favorite lipstick.  It also works well for the summer and fall season!

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

RECOMMENDATION: If love sheer, non-sticky lipgloss, Dior Ultra Gloss is exactly that. And if you don’t mind reapplying every two hours or so, I think you’d really like these.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Monday, July 19th, 2010

NARS Strawberry Fields Lip Gloss
NARS Strawberry Fields Lip Gloss

Who knew NARS could do opaque lipgloss?

NARS Strawberry Fields Lip Gloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a richly pigmented, near-opaque shade of deep strawberry pink (but I almost want to call it raspberry–the product name makes me want to stay on track, though). It’s the most pigmented lip gloss I’ve ever tried by NARS–and I’m really quite (pleasantly) surprised by it.

Of course, not every lip gloss needs to be opaque, and there is certainly a time and place for even the sheerest glosses. I’ve just come to accept that NARS glosses are generally sheer and that’s that. Strawberry Fields is a dominating shade in comparison to the NARS range. It’s bold and bright without being too much; it will give your lips definition and zero in the focus to them, but it’s not a traffic-stopping shade.

I got about three hours of wear this shade, and then a slight stain that wore on for another hour or two. It was scent- and taste-free (not even a hint of waxiness/plastic!). I do like NARS glosses for their moisturizing properties, too. Though $24 may seem steep for a lip gloss, NARS delivers much more than the average lip gloss does–0.28 oz.–which makes them as expensive (by the ounce) as MAC lipglasses.

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

RECOMMENDATION: NARS is really stepping it up with their fall collection from the select pieces I’ve tried so far. If you dig opaque lip glosses and have been looking for something in a deep pink shade, Strawberry Fields may be something to check out.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

MAC Dazzle Lipstick
Dazzleglass: Boys Go Crazy, Fabulous Fun, Glamour OD, Hi-Falutin’, Spanking Rich, Utterly Posh, You Got the Look

MAC Digi-Pops: Dazzleglass

Oh, Dazzleglass — why must you be so pricey for such a teeny, tiny amount?  It’s really such a shame, given your packaging–all long and round and large in the right places! Dazzleglass is a slightly tacky, thicker lip gloss with a high dosage of glitter with sheer to semi-sheer color.  Nordstrom will see seven shades as part of Digi-Pops, but for whatever reason, they’re not available for pre-order online (but I know stores were doing pre-orders for them).

Glamour OD, Spanking Rich, and Utterly Posh are repromotes, but the other four shades are new.

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

  • Boys Go Crazy is a darkened plum-berry purple with iridescent purple and blue-violet glitter.  It’s a little vampy but the sheerness keeps it from being a total, in-your-face kind of shade.
  • Fabulous Fun is a semi-sheer, brightened fuchsia-pink with fuchsia-purple glitter.   It gave my lips noticeable color, but it’s still on the sheerer side.
  • Glamour OD is a brightened red with a touch of silver and pink glitter. This is a repromote.
  • Hi-Falutin’ is a sheer, softened peach-coral with gold glitter.  It looks more like a milky peach with subtle gold glitter on lips.
  • Spanking Rich is a semi-sheer, softened pink mauve with fuchsia glitter. This is a repromote.
  • Utterly Posh is a semi-sheer 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.  It has a rather milky base, and it needs to be applied with some precision to keep it from gathering when you press your lips together.

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

RECOMMENDATION: I’m always going to get frustrated with the itty bitty amount of product you get in each dazzleglass, despite the the lip gloss being rather pretty.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom (on the 15th/16th)

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Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Dior Tailored Mauve Ultra Gloss

Lips Fit for the Sugarplum Fairy

Dior Tailored Mauve (692) Ultra Gloss ($26.50 for 0.21 oz.) is a semi-sheer plum-tinged pink with white and pink microshimmer. It gives my lips a nice pink tinge, but it also looks a little plummy but not mauve or deep plum at all–very wearable and still in season for fall. It also has enough color to be worn alone or layered over one of fall’s vampier lipsticks.

I like the Ultra Gloss for its moisturizing, non-sticky formula and the lovely way the shimmer reflects, but I do wish it were more long-wearing than just under two hours. The formula is designed to be sheer, so don’t go in expecting rich, opaque color–some of the darker shades are, inevitably, more pigmented than the lighter shades, but I’ve found that the majority shades are semi-sheer but not indistinguishable from each other–which is nice.

I’ve done numerous reviews on Dior’s Ultra Gloss, should you want to explore other shades!

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

RECOMMENDATION: If love sheer, non-sticky lipgloss, Dior Ultra Gloss is exactly that. And if you don’t mind reapplying every two hours or so, I think you’d really like these.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection
MAC Cremesheen Glasses: You’ve Got It, On the Scene, Fashion Whim, Chillin’, Right Image, Going Casual

MAC In the Groove Collection: Cremesheen Glasses

In the Groove launches on the 8th, and it contains six new and limited edition shades of Cremesheen Glass–a thin, non-sticky, sheer gloss.   They coordinate rather obviously with the majority of the lipsticks, with the exception of Chillin’ which doesn’t quite align with any of the lipsticks from this launch.

  • You’ve Got It is a subtle grayish brown with multicolored shimmer, predominantly white, though. It has that same mushroom-y look as Call My Bluff lipstick, so it would pair well with that. It would also wash out any of the other brighter shades a bit, too. It’s like a lighter, non-sticky version of Chai lipglass. It’s semi-sheer on lips–it tones down my natural color a bit and makes it look rather nude/washed out almost. Definitely not very brown on lips.
  • On the Scene is a light orange-peach with subtle white shimmer. I know someone is going to ask me if I’m sure I didn’t mess the swatches up, but On the Scene looks incredibly similar to Fashion Whim when applied to [my] lips. I’m not even joking. I put them on side by side to make sure, and I couldn’t tell. On the Scene is just barely warmer than Fashion Whim. On the full-face, you can see the way one is warmer, one is cooler. At first, I thought it was like Ember Glow, but on lips it’s a little different.
  • Fashion Whim is a light peach with pale gold shimmer. This is like a pinky nude that goes on semi-opaque . It’s kind of like Creme d’Nude in lipgloss form, or else a pinker version of C-Thru lipglass. It’s a little milky on my lips, so it has a tendency to emphasize lip lines.
  • Chillin’ is a very light, pale cloudy blue. On lips, it really just like a milky cool-toned white with multi-colored shimmer. I think it may be nice to use to add glossiness and a bring out the cool tones of a lipstick. If you were hoping for a truer blue or something pigmented, this isn’t it.
  • Right Image is a neutral-yellow pink with white shimmer. It’s just a pretty medium pink that applies semi-opaque with pink and white shimmer. Even though it’s pretty, you may own something similar.
  • Going Casual is a cool-toned, blue-based pink with iridescent purple and white shimmer–almost leans a little purple. It has a very milky look and does settle into my lip lines.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you like ultra sheer, milky glosses, then these are totally up your alley!

AVAILABILITY: MAC

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Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Lab Shines
Make Up For Ever Lab Shines: M0, M2, M4, M6, M8, M10, M12, M14, M16

Make Up For Ever Metal Lab Shines

Make Up For Ever Metal Lab Shines have nine shades. According to a phone call to the Make Up For Ever Boutique in NYC, these will retail for $18 for 0.09 oz. and are currently available. According to Make Up For Ever PR, these aren’t officially launching until Spring 2011.  My lovely friend Pursebuzz was so nice as to be my personal shopper at IMATs last week, and she grabbed me one of each of the Lab Shines they had (I think they were missing two or three).  This post features five of the nine Metal shades, and part two will follow with the other four.

  • M0 Onyx is a semi-opaque black with silver sparkle. In the swatch, it’s certainly black and glossy, but it’s not 100% opaque, so on its own, it looks a bit messy. Definitely needs a very dark liner to make it look opaque.
  • M2 Grey Pearl is a metallic warmed-up pearly silver. It’s very much the color of pearl, with a little silver cast. Kind of like a platinum shade. It’s semi-opaque with a frosty finish. Surely not designed to be an ultra wearable shade, but I could see it working for some more avant garde looks or layered over a darker lipstick.
  • M4 Tobacco is a soft peachy brown with chamagne beige and gold shimmer. It has the same frosty finish as M2, and it’s semi-opaque as well.
  • M6 Hazel Brown is a darker brown than M4 but not by much. I had some streaking issues with this one – the color just didn’t want to lay down nicely for me. It has light copper and gold shimmer.
  • M8 Brown is a plummy brown with multicolored shimmer and a semi-opaque look. This is the most universally wearable of the ones featured in this post!

The Metal Lab Shines use Make Up For Ever’s Metal Powder in the lip gloss (which is where it gets its name).  These are supposed to be the most opaque shades out of the 35 in total, with each formula getting progressively sheerer.  I found that these were semi-opaque but intensely so.  Some shades were nearly opaque, but the majority are semi-opaque, particularly the lighter shades.

The formula itself has this lightly sweetened fruity scent–I want to say melon or grapefruit (why does my nose suck?)–with a non-sticky texture.  It’s almost like thicker lip balm on lips–maybe like a thinner Lip Gelee.  It has a good amount of slip and slide, but it doesn’t slide right off lips.  I don’t get ultra long wear out of these (two to three hours), and they don’t seem to leave much of a stain behind.  They have a brush-flecked applicator, so you get plenty of product out for each application, and you have some precision to get a crisp, defined lip look, too.

I like the packaging a lot more than other Make Up For Ever lipglosses–it feels more solid and sophisticated; more suitable for the price tag of Make Up For Ever products.  Unfortunately, despite the solid and thick feel of the packaging, they don’t pack much product in those tubes–just 0.09 oz., while the average lip gloss is around 0.17 oz. (Make Up For Ever’s Fascinating lipgloss contains 0.20 oz.).  I don’t know if the addition of their Metal, Star, or Diamond powders should merit 50% less at the same cost, you know?  Kind of feels like a MAC Dazzleglass situation (though those are worse — more than regular lipglass and 0.06 oz.).

I like the gloss, but I’m not sure I love it.  I like that these shades are on the more pigmented side, wear decently (though not long-wearing), and look pretty on.  They’re also very moisturizing and comfortable on lips.  Not quite weightless, but they’re very jelly-like, so it’s not heavy or clingy.

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

RECOMMENDATION: For semi-opaque, frost-metallic finished lip gloss, you may like the Metal Lab Shines.

AVAILABILITY: Make Up For Ever Boutiques

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