Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Lancome Creme Brilliance
Amande Sucree, Berry Noir, Blush Classique, Champagne, Cherrywood Luxe,
Exotic Orchid, Rose Mythique, Sienne Ultime

Lancome L’Absolu Creme de Brilliance: Review, Photos, Swatches

This Spring, Lancome released eight shades of their newest lipgloss, L’Absolu Creme de Brilliance ($29.00 each). According to Lancome, Creme de Brilliance is a cross between lip gloss and balm designed to deliver “intense hydration that helps lips stay comfortable for up to 10 hours.” It contains “shine-boosting oils” and “light-diffusing pearls” for richer color pay off; Pro-Xylane™ for increased hydration, and glycerin and hyaluronic acid to hydrate lips and help color stay put.

Like you, fancy ingredient names don’t mean anything at first. I typically don’t even read the press release or description in its entirety until after I’ve tried it. (I prefer to try things as I would normally… diving in head-first, not caring about the science behind it, and just getting down to business!) Then I go back and read the product’s description, check out tips or insight on the website, etc. to see if my experience lines up with what the product was supposed to do.

Creme de Brilliance is definitely a cross between gloss and balm. I didn’t make that bridge myself, as I was thinking maybe it was more like a glossy lip stain, but the balm part makes sense. It’s glossy and liquid enough to pass for a gloss, but it’s thin and sort of melts into lips. It doesn’t impart an ultra glossy finish (which is more a preference than a necessity). The gloss isn’t drying, but I don’t think it’s particularly moisturizing either — it just doesn’t suck moisture out of your lips while you wear it and keeps it locked in, so your lips don’t dry out, but you should make sure your lips are moisturized prior to applying for best results.

The applicator is the same as most (all? can’t remember!) as Lancome glosses – a modified doe-foot applicator (always reminds me of a heart for some reason). I felt like the scent on these is very low-key–kind of a rosy scent, but it’s not nearly as strong as other Lancome lip products. I’m not loving the price –

  • Amande Sucree is a neutral chocolate brown with bronzy shimmer. I found this one applied beautifully on lips–completely opaque and lush.
  • Berry Noir is a creamy berry red with subtle silverish shimmer (but it’s very, very subtle, as you can tell from the swatch). This one really feels and looks like a stain (in fact, I think it stained my lips for about five hours!). Not quite as opaque as Amande Sucree, it’s still mostly full color coverage. On me, the redness of it certainly stands out, but there is still enough berry to keep it from being purely red. This had a creamier look with a glossier finish.
  • Blush Classique is a brightened up medium pink with shimmer. This brightened, yellower-toned pink is a pretty spring shade that goes on nearly opaque and is one of the more shimmery shades.
  • Champagne is a cooler toned medium pink with silvery-pink and gold shimmer. Side-by-side, Blush Classique and Champagne are similar, but I think the warmth/coolness of each is apparent. Do you need both? Probably not unless you’re a pink fiend! Not too cool, so still wearable by a variety of skin tones, Champagne applies mostly opaque and has the same shimmery look as Blush Classique.
  • Cherrywood Luxe is a coppery brown with subtle gold shimmer. This was an interesting shade, just because it’s not quite brown, but it’s not really a red-brown, so I went with coppery at the end of the day. I found this one to be a little streaky in application, whereas the other seven shades applied very evenly without much work. Cherrywood Luxe has a glossy sheen and shimmer like most glosses.
  • Exotic Orchid is a plummy pink with pinky-gold shimmer. This is a creamier but still glossy shade of plummed down pink. It’s pink enough that it’s not a true plum, but there’s enough plum in it that mutes the pink tones of it and darkens it a bit. It has an almost iridescent fuchsia shimmer in it.
  • Rose Mythique is a brightened cherry red with gold shimmer. Like Exotic Orchid, this is a creamier shade with a glossy finish. It has less noticeable shimmer–just a few bits of gold shimmer. This is the shade that Kate Winslet is wearing in the Creme de Brilliance promo (though there is also a lipstick shown in the advertisement, just to be clear). It’s not a true cherry red when applied to my lips–it’s more like a cherry stain. The color does make me feel like I have “juicy” lips, ha! Funny enough, Rose Mythique may be one of the lesser pigmented shades of the eight.
  • Sienne Ultime is a more muted, darkened red (with maybe a little brown) with soft gold shimmer. This is actually much more pigmented than Rose Mythique and redder, too, though still not a true red. Like the majority of the shades, this provided nearly opaque color coverage on my lips. (You can still see my lip freckle but barely.)

Which are your favorites?

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

Recommendation:  If you love pigmented gloss that’s not too glossy and locks moisture in, you might like these!

Availability: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Benefit I'm With the Band Lipgloss
Benefit I’m With the Band Lipgloss

The Spring Season: Benefit I’m With the Band Lipgloss

Benefit I’m With the Band Lip Gloss ($19.00) is an ultra shimmery golden peach pink mauve. No, seriously. This is one of those glosses that’s going to look just a little different from person to person, depending on your natural lip color. It has a serious gold shimmer to it, though, no matter how you slice it. On me, it’s a sheer pink color base with glimmering gold shimmer. It’s very pretty when worn alone or on top of a lipstick. Benefit glosses are on the thinner side, but you can get a surprisingly amount of shimmer with just a lil’ bit of gloss in this one. Their gloss is non-sticky, almost lightly creamy, and I couldn’t detect any real scent. Definitely one of my favorite Benefit lipglosses!

Is this the perfect gloss for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals Collection

Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals Collection:  Shimmer Lip Glosses

Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals Collection includes three new shades of Shimmer Lip Gloss (Coral Sand – a golden peach; Golden Nectar — a peach coral shimmer; and Sunset Beach — a golden pink coral). Both Coral Sand and Sunset Beach are limited edition. Each gloss retails for $20.00 and contains 0.14 fl. oz.

  • Sunset Beach is a sheer, peachy-coral with golden shimmer. It has a very wet, kind of creamy/milky look on lips with just a hint of shimmer.
  • Coral Sand is a sheer, bronzy peach with peach-gold shimmer. This has more of a traditional shimmer gloss look — sheer with noticeable golden shimmer.

Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Lip Glosses are thick, sticky, and always run on the sheer side (so those who love pigmented glosses, look elsewhere). They are designed to be subtle and glossy with light shimmer–not thick, opaque, richly colored glosses, for reference. Because they are thicker and tackier, they last longer than most glosses (I get about three to four hours).

Two things I wish would change about this product, though: a better applicator and more for your money. The applicator is a stubby plastic-y bristled brush that’s tiny and doesn’t feel great on lips. I wish it had a doe-foot applicator or a more traditional brush applicator. For the price tag, even against its competitors in the price range, you just don’t get that much gloss in each tube for the price, so they are on the pricier side.  (Realistically, if you have a ton of glosses, the amount probably isn’t a big deal, since you’re unlikely to finish it.)

Did you grab any of the new Shimmer Lip Glosses?

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 you’ve always wanted to wear coral, but you couldn’t find the right shade, Bobbi Brown has five different versions to check out.

Availability: Bobbi Brown

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

MAC Riveting Collection
Lipglasses: Rock Out, True Babe

MAC Riveting Collection: Lipglass Review, Photos, Swatches

Lucky for your pocketbook, there are only two lipglasses to take a look at from MAC’s Riveting Collection: Rock Out (officially described as a light icy silver with pearl) and True Babe (officially described as a creamy mid-tone bright blue pink). I don’t think neither are must-haves in the sense that unless you’re drawn to one of these and you don’t have something similar at home, you don’t absolutely have to have these too.

Lipglass ($14.00 U.S. / $16.50 CDN)

  • Rock Out is a sheer, silver shimmered gloss with a very sheer, kind of whitish-silver color base. I didn’t find it all that wearable on its own, personally. It reminded me of an older limited edition lipglass–Lightning–as well as more recently released She-Zam dazzleglass (from holiday ’09). Obviously, since it’s a lipglass, it has a totally different texture and feel than a dazzleglass–it’s thicker, stickier, cheaper (and you get more), and lasts longer (because it’s stickier).
  • True Babe is a creamy, rich bright pink with cool blue undertones. It’s like a cooler, more fuchsia version of Pink Poodle lipglass. I can’t think of any immediate dupes off the top of my head, but I know MAC has released quite a few hot pink lipglasses in the past few years. What’s nice about this one is that the coverage is nice and opaque, and despite its creamy look, it doesn’t settle into lip lines as much (and is not noticeable from normal viewing distance–aka, not 10x magnification of my lips!).

What do you think? Either of these for you?

See more photos, swatches, & lip swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

MAC Cosmetics Spring Colour Forecast 1
MAC Lipglasses: Purple Rage, Lavender Wind

MAC Spring Colour Forecast: Lipglasses Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

Part 2 of the lipglasses…  From these, my favorites were Purple Rage.  What are your favorites?

Spring Colour 3 Forecast — Lipglasses

  • Purple Rage is a red raspberry with golden shimmer–it’s more red than raspberry, but still not quite red. This is one of the more opaque glosses, and it may have a tendency to bleed when applied alone.
  • Lavender Wind is a semi-sheer, kind of milky-creamy pink base with fuchsia and violet shimmer. I feel like I’ve seen this kind of shade from MAC a few times in the past year. It was like a more violet-shimmered Luminary Lustreglass (which I do love, but I think Luminary is better).

Spring Colour 4 Forecast — Lipglasses

  • Almondine is a surprisingly opaque white-gold with gold shimmer. On me, this is not exactly a shade to wear alone. This is a color I’d layer over a lipstick to lighten or add more shimmer. Looks kind of like shimmery corpse lips on me when worn alone, unfortunately! I love the pearly look of it, though.
  • Gold Dust is a light peachy-orange color base with gold and orange shimmer. This gloss applies pretty sheer on me, just giving me a little bit of color, but mostly I see golden, orange, and peach shimmer.

See product photos, swatches, AND lip swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

MAC Cosmetics Spring Colour Forecast 1
MAC Lipglasses: Hush, Hush Rose, Electric Fuchsia, Cultureclash

MAC Spring Colour Forecast: Lipglasses Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

Each part has a few lipglasses; the first two parts have three each, while the last two parts have two each. This gives us a grand total of ten freakin’ lipglasses to take a look at, whew! This part includes the lipglasses from parts one and two, and the second part will contain lipglasses from parts three and four. (I split posts to help ensure that our server can sustain the load of people downloading images–and preferably, not 50 images at once!)  My favorites:  Hush, Hush Rose, Electric Fuchsia, and Kumquat.  What are your favorites?

Spring Colour 1 Forecast — Lipglasses

  • Hush, Hush Rose is a semi-sheer strawberry pink with golden shimmer. I imagine this looking a bit raspberry on those with more red pigmentation in their lip color.
  • Electric Fuchsia is a bright magenta fuchsia with violet shimmer. This is purpler than Magnetique and not as creamy–a little sheerer, more shimmery.
  • Cultureclash is a sheer baby pink with yellow undertones. It looks more medium-pink when swatched, but when applied, I found it rather milky pink with silver sparkle.

Spring Colour 2 Forecast — Lipglasses

  • Kumquat is a tangerine orange gloss with lighter orange shimmer. When applied, I see a good dose of shimmer and glossiness, with some of the tangerine color coming through.
  • Cha Cha is a medium pink with lighter pink and almost fuchsia shimmer in it. It applies semi-opaque to my lips and gives me a pinker, shimmery pout.
  • Ember Glow is an orange-y beige cream gloss with a smidgen of shimmer. On my lips, it looks creamy and gives decent color. I do find creams have a tendency to settle into lip lines and not go on as evenly as I’d like, but this one wasn’t too bad.

See product photos, swatches, AND lip swatches! Continue reading →