Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Maybelline Sandstone Shimmer Lipgloss
Maybelline Sandstone Shimmer Lipgloss

The Spring Season: Maybelline Sandstone Shimmer Lipgloss

Maybelline Sandstone Shimmer Color Sensational Lipgloss ($5.99) is a sheer, lightly peach-tinged champagne-shimmered gloss. Applied on my lips, it mutes the natural rosiness a bit, giving it a milkier, nude-pink look with a glossy sheen and noticeable shimmer. It has a sweetened berry scent and no real taste to me (nothing bad, maybe a touch sweet) as well. This would be nice layered over matte or semi-matte nudes for extra sparkle!

Is this the right nude lipstick 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 →

Friday, March 26th, 2010

NP Set Mauritius Lipgloss
NP Set Mauritius Lipgloss

The Spring Season: NP Set Mauritius Lipgloss

NP Set Mauritius Lipgloss ($15.00) is a stunning, fiery-orange shimmered peachy-orange gloss. This is truly stunning! It looks gorgeous when swatched, but on lips, the shimmer and shine of the gloss really becomes apparent. I would love this gloss even more if it was just a smidgen more pigmented/vibrant, but the way it shimmers is divine! It’s a fairly creamy gloss so it’s a little on the thicker side (fine with me) and wears a solid three hours on me.

Is this the right 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 →

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

NYX Chandelier Lipgloss

The Spring Season: NYX Chandelier Lipgloss

NYX Chandelier Lipgloss ($5.50) is a sheer jelly base with just the slightest pink tinge with pale silver and pink shimmer. On lips, it’s a very soft color that delivers mostly a highly shimmered look with a glossy finish. It’s a fun gloss to wear everyday without having to work too hard, but it’s also a nice way to add more shimmer to any of your favorite pink or nude glosses.

Is this the right 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 →

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Laura Mercier Zen Palette

Going Zen with Laura Mercier for Spring

Laura Mercier Zen Face Palette ($60.00) is a new-for-spring (into summer!) palette that includes one blush, four eyeshadows, and four lip glazes housed in a metal-rimmed palette with a cushy, dusty blue cover.

I was surprised at how much I liked the palette packaging, but I thought it was cute without being cheesy. It’s definitely apropos for spring! The palette also feels sturdy, weighty, but it doesn’t feel bulky, so I like the slimness and overall shape of it. I also LOVED! that they included a little plastic sheet with the names printed on top so you knew what product was what. Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out in a palette!

Eyeshadows

  • Willow is a soft, pastel green with yellow undertones and a silvery shimmer. It has a bit of a frostier finish. It almost seemed un-Laura Mercier-like to me, just because it was such a nice pop of color, though it is a light pop of color!
  • Haze is a powder blue with silver shimmer. It’s more of a satin finish, less frost, in comparison to Willow.
  • Wisteria is a browned plum with a frosty sheen. It’s quite pigmented and smooth.
  • Midnight Jade is a darkened, grayed teal with a pearly sheen and just a light dusting of shimmer. I found this shade to be the least pigmented out of the four, but it still had decent pigmentation.

Blush

  • Plum is a very rosy plum shade. It’s less purple plum as it is red-plum. It has a low-level pearly sheen that’s very, very subtle. There’s no obvious shimmer here!

Lip Glazes

  • Black Currant is a brownish red that goes on very sheerly and has a glossy sheen.
  • Lotus Bloom is a sheer tinge of pinky-red with flecks of red shimmer.
  • Stone Beige is a creamier, semi-sheer nude beige with subtle gold shimmer.
  • Peach Blossom is an orange-y peach cream with a high gloss finish.

The good: It’s a fun palette with a good range of eye colors to give you a few new looks for spring. The pigmentation is pretty good (Midnight Jade needs to be layered for better pigmentation, though), and the texture is smooth, soft, and applies evenly. I like that there’s a good variety of colors in the lip glazes as well, because it gives you a lot of ways you can mix and match. I also think the packaging is fun, travel-friendly, and classy.

The bad: Palettes that mix powders and creams (or glazes, in this particular case) are not my favorite, because sometimes the powder finds its way into the creams, which is kind of gross. For most, it’s probably not a deal-breaker, but it’s something I thought I should mention. I don’t think the Plum blush is the most suitable for the palette–it almost seems too dark for this palette. I think it could work, but I’m not totally sold on it being the best match here.

There’s one thing I noticed right at end: there are no brushes!  It’s almost curious and yet I’m not displeased that they didn’t include them.  I know some think for the price that they should have, but I never find myself using those brushes that are included in palettes.  I always find them so inferior to my normal brushes and much prefer to take my brushes with me when I travel (even if it’s just a few), so it’s more of a neutral to me.  It just depends on your preference!

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 like Laura Mercier’s eyeshadows and have always wanted a little more color, you might enjoy the way she’s played with color in this spring palette. I think cooler skin tones will find this especially flattering, as most of the shades tend to be on the cooler end of the spectrum.

Availability: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

YSL Golden Peony (#10) Golden Gloss
YSL Golden Peony Golden Gloss

The Spring Season: YSL Golden Peony (#10) Golden Gloss

YSL Golden Peony (#10) Golden Gloss ($30.00 for 0.2 oz.) is a sheer clear base with gold and iridescent lilac shimmer suspended in it. On my lips, it enhances the rosy of my natural lip color just a tad while adding a ridiculous amount of bling-bling shimmer to it. You can detect an almost silver-ish lilac, and golden shimmer. Fun fact: Golden Glosses contain 0.2% of 24kt gold. What’s nice about YSL Golden Glosses is they’re non-sticky, moisturizing, and have a mango-scent. Unlike a lot of glosses, the applicator is also a brush rather than a doe-foot applicator, which may or may not be your favorite. (Luckily, I am indifferent and like both!)

Is this the right 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 →

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Midnight Bloom Collection
Dolce & Gabbana Shine Lipstick: Emotion (56) & Delicate (53)

Summer Preview: Dolce & Gabbana Midnight Bloom — Shine Lipsticks & Lipgloss

To finish off our Dolce & Gabbana summer preview of the Midnight Bloom Collection, today we’ll look at two new shades of Shine Lipstick (Delicate and Emotion) and one new shade of Lipgloss (Delicious). Shine Lipsticks retail for $30, while Lipglosses retail for $29. Dolce & Gabbana (the makeup!) is only available at Saks.

Shine Lipstick ($30.00)

  • Emotion (53) is a pinked mauve with a champagne-pink-gold shimmer. It’s like a champagne bronze kissed with fairytale plum. It really does deserve such a whimsical description. These two shades of Shine Lipsticks are particularly lovely–it’s almost like a duochrome eyeshadow, but you know, *lipstick*!
  • Delicate (56) is a softened coral-peach color base with golden peach and gold shimmer and a champagne sheen. Like Delicate, it has that mix of sheen, frost, shimmer, and color. I’d say this wasn’t quite as opaque as Delicate, but it is still a medium coverage lipstick.

I tried Gold Shine Lipstick last December, and even though the color was totally fun and funky (and definitely not similar to anything I already owned, which is kind of a big deal for me!), it didn’t sell me on the Shine formula like these do. Gold showed me lots of shimmer–borderline glitter–but these are softer, smoother. They wear well (four to six hours on me) without drying out lips. Both shades applied evenly and gave nearly opaque color (you can always tell by my lip “freckle”), even though “shine” makes me think sheerer coverage.

If you’re sensitive to scent, you may not like the rosy scent that accompanies Dolce & Gabbana’s lipsticks, though. Packaging is in line with the rest of Dolce & Gabbana: gold metal that looks and feels luxe (nice weight to the lipsticks) but still holds fingerprints. (Seriously, isn’t it about time sometime invented fingerprint-proof metal for cosmetics?)

Lipgloss ($29.00)

  • Delicious (73) is a medium coral-orange cream finish gloss. It is nearly opaque (again, my lip “freckle” is nearly hidden). Dolce & Gabbana described the shade as “candy pink,” but I really don’t think it fits. I just don’t see any pink whatsoever in this. I even have a slightly naturally rosy pucker, so you’d think it would emphasize the pink, but this reads coral on my lips. Not that that’s an issue, though, because it’s a very fun, summer-appropriate shade. It’s creamy enough to give you that no-shimmer, high-gloss look and doesn’t settle into lip lines much (less noticeable from a normal viewing distance than upclose!).

Dolce & Gabbana’s Lipgloss is slightly tacky, though I wouldn’t describe it as sticky–just not non-sticky entirely. I typically get about three hours of wear with the gloss alone, which is about average to a little above average for a gloss on me. Like the Shine Lipsticks, it is rose-scented, so sensitive-sniffers beware! Packaging is a clear base with a “gold” metal cap, and of course, pricing is that of a high-end, more luxe brand (think Chanel, Guerlain, etc.).

Dolce & Gabbana is always an indulgence, but in the past few months, I’ve found more products to love than ones that disappoint. I remember being a little wary in the beginning, but their products have really worked well for me so far!

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’re a fan of shimmer and sheen in your lipstick and don’t mind paying for it, the two new shades of Shine Lipstick are beautiful. Delicate will work beautifully on both cool and warm skin tones, while Emotion will work better on warmer skin tones but is still wearable for those with cooler skin tones (but you may want to pair it with cooler eyes!). Delicious Lipgloss is fun but it’s a warmer coral, so it is better suited for warmer skin tones and would look nice over Emotion.

Availability: May 2010 at Saks

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →