Monday, November 9th, 2009

C.O. Bigelow Warm Spiced Cider Lip Shine ($7.50 for 0.5 oz.) is a sheer, shimmery lip jelly that spells like a apple cider and tastes sweet. I very rarely lick my lips, but this tastes so yum! This particular flavor is part of the Mentha Lip Cordials, so there is a bit of a cooling sensation when you initially apply it, and apparently it also freshens breath (zero calories!). It gives lips a glossy look with just a touch of shimmer but no real color (which is fine) while keeping them hydrated while you wear it. Warm Spiced Cider is new for the holiday season, along with Hot Buttered Rum, Triple Hot Chocolate, and Vanilla Cream Eggnog. I find I apply this when I’m running errands or around the house to keep my lips in tip top shape.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a moisturizing lip balm/jelly, C.O. Bigelow’s Lip Shines give you high gloss, yummy flavored choices.

Availability: Bath & Body Works

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Smashbox Siren Lip Enhancing Gloss

The Scarlet Season: Smashbox Siren Lip Enhancing Gloss

Smashbox Siren Lip Enhancing Gloss ($18.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a mostly red, slightly pink-tinged semi-opaque gloss with a coppery red shimmer that’s noticeable but not in-your-face. The best part about this gloss (and other shades in the same formula) is the high shine, ultra glossy look it gives lips. My lips just seemed to look a little bigger, fuller, and just more POW! overall. The formula iteslf is non-sticky, not really thick (but not super thin, either–somewhere in-between), and very moisturizing. The gloss does contain vitamin E, so it helps keep lips feeling their best. It has a soft slightly sweet vanilla scent to it, as well. Siren is a good shade to gloss over a red lipstick for extra shine or wear alone!

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

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Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Bobbi Brown Chrome Palette ($75.00) is the stunning eye and lip palette include with Bobbi Brown’s Chrome Collection, and it is also limited edition (of course!). The palette includes ten shades of eyeshadow and four shades of lip glosses.

For Eyes

  • White Eyeshadow is just that, a matte snowy white. It’s slightly cool, but it isn’t frosty or cold.
  • Polar Ice Eyeshadow is a soft, light gray with a blue tinge and silver shimmer. It goes on a bit sheer, but it can be layered for a slightly more solid look.
  • Storm Cloud Eyeshadow is a sparkly medium dark brown. It doesn’t really have anything special about it to make it unique, but it still looks pretty (you just may already have something similar in your stash).
  • Iron Eyeshadow is a matte slate gray. It didn’t go on as smoothly as the White eyeshadow, and it felt a little more dusty.
  • Thunder Eyeshadow is a glittery dark gray with a touch of black and silver shimmer. This reminded me of MAC’s Knight Divine, though not quite as glittery or gritty.
  • Moonlight Eyeshadow is a glittery soft pink with a little champagne tone. Bobbi Brown describes it as a cool purple sparkle, which is clearly not. The back of my palette shows that this is where Moonlight is supposed to be, but I really feel like this and Foil were misplaced/mislabeled.
  • Cyber Grey Eyeshadow is a slightly purple tinged smoky silver shimmer shade.
  • Foil Eyeshadow is a glittery soft purple-gray — very similar to Cyber Grey, but it has more of a glittery texture. As I mentioned earlier, I think this is really Moonlight and Foil is the other one… as Bobbi Brown describes Foil as “a pale bronze.” Again, I’m just going off the back of my palette (and Bobbi Brown’s website).
  • Chrome Eyeshadow is a silver with a little brown thrown in – kind of reminds me of Pewter Chrome Eyeshadow, but not nearly as pretty. (Sorry, I *love* that eyeshadow, so not much can compare.)
  • Charcoal Haze Eyeshadow is a matte medium gray-black. This one had the same texture as Iron, but it did seem a little smoother.

For Lips

  • Pink Mist Lip Gloss is a medium yellow-pink with multi-colored sparkle. It’s pretty sheer, but I found I could actually see some color when I swatched it on my skin (which I barely could with the Earth Metal palette).
  • Winter Bronze Lip Gloss is a copper sparkled bronze shade. On lips, it looks a bit burnished, but it’s not ultra pigmented so it’s more wearable than it looks.
  • Berry Lip Gloss is a muted plum-berry with soft sparkle. I liked this shade the most, as it seemed opaque enough to add color to lips, but still soft as I’d expect from Bobbi Brown.
  • Chrome Pink Lip Gloss is beige-rose with gold sparkle. It’s pretty, and it’s a shade I could see people loving for everyday.

You know me — I don’t like lip palettes. I don’t like them alone, and I don’t like them when attached to eyeshadow palettes, either. They’re just a no-go for me. I will say that the gloss in these are more pigmented than in Bobbi Brown’s Earth Metal Eye & Lip Palette, which is a plus.  I’m not going to drop points on this product because of that personal bias, so I’m judging on the product included itself, which is better than a lot of lip palettes I’ve tried.

In the palette, you get 10 eyeshadows, each weighing 0.02 oz. (total weight of 0.20 oz.), and you also get four lipglosses, each weighing 0.03 oz. (total weight of 0.12 oz.). A single Bobbi Brown eyeshadow retails for $22 for 0.10 oz. and a single lip gloss retails for $20 for 0.14 oz. The reason for all these conversions is to see exactly how much you’re paying for what and whether it’s worth buying a palette if you like a few shades or if you should look towards Bobbi Brown’s permanent line-up instead. The eyeshadows (by weight) would yield about $44 in value, while the lip glosses yield about $17 — which gives you a total “value” of $61. The palette is priced at $75, so I do think it’s a bit steep, even when you consider the fact that you’re getting a variety of shades all housed in a pretty chrome palette.

I also don’t think there’s quite enough variety between the ten shades of eyeshadows — a few are quite similar (like Cyber Grey and Foil). This is definitely a cool smoky eye palette with a little purple kick. I like that they included three different matte shades in the palette, because I think mattes are often missed in palettes. I do wish they had included a highlighter shade, as I think the White eyeshadow will be too garish on bolder skin tones to work well as a highlighter. In a palette of this size, I’d expect a really obvious highlighter shade.

For me, this palette is just okay. It’s not the best value, and I think Bobbi Brown has better shades (or the equivalent) available in her permanent range. In fact, I definitely recommend her Chrome Eyeshadows (and duh, my #1 recommendation would be for Pewter!) if you’re not liking the majority of the shades in this palette. The eyeshadows are soft, have a smooth texture, and they’re all pigmented. There is nothing wrong with them, but I’m just not loving the color combination overall. Nice but not amazing, you know?

Bottom Line: for those who DO love the majority of the shades in the palette and don’t mind lipgloss in pan form, I think you may like this. It’s housed in chromed-out package (which does hold fingerprints, FYI!), offers plenty of smoky eyeshadow combinations, and is appropriate for the upcoming holiday season.  I also think Bobbi Brown fans may enjoy this more than I did, and I think it’s worth at least a peek next time you’re near a Bobbi Brown counter to see for yourself.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:

Availability: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Friday, October 30th, 2009


Guerlain: Perle de Lune KissKiss Gloss

Guerlain Perle de Lune KissKiss Gloss ($29.00 for 0.17 oz.) is one of three new, limited edition shades of KissKiss Gloss from Guerlain’s Holiday Collection.

Perle de Lune is a sheer, milky pale pink (it’s almost colorless, so soft the pink is!) with a large dose of pink, gold, and bronze shimmer. This is a particularly glittery shade of KissKiss Gloss, but it doesn’t feel gritty, so I do like that. I’d also say that this is definitely a shade you’d layer on a lipstick rather than wear alone, but for some, it’s a nice way to add sparkle without adding a lot of color.

KissKiss Gloss is a non-sticky, moisturizing gloss that lasts about four hours or so on me. I love the way it sparkles and glitters on my lips, and they always look fantastic layered over lipsticks. The scent is sort of a sweet rose, which isn’t always loved by lipgloss fans alike, so you may want to give it a whiff before making the leap for this shade. This particular holiday shade reminded me a lot of Chanel’s Holiday Aqualumieres, which also very sheer but had lots of sparkle–almost a mix of Canari and Colibri.

Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of sparkly glosses and don’t need a lot of color in your gloss, Perle de Lune may be right up your alley. It’s a bit of a splurge at $29 and you only get 0.17 oz., so it’s not the cheapest gloss around.  The packaging of this limited edition shade is also very pretty.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: For a fun, ridiculously sparkly gloss that doesn’t feel gritty, Perle de Lune makes a great shade for layering.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, October 28th, 2009


Guerlain: Rubis Rose KissKiss Gloss

Guerlain Rubis Rose KissKiss Gloss ($29.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a lovely semi-sheer shade of plummy brown with gold and plum shimmer throughout from Guerlain’s Holiday Collection.  KissKiss Gloss is one of my favorite gloss formulas, so I’m always excited to see what new, limited edition shades are launched by Guerlain.  It’s a non-sticky, moisturizing gloss that runs sheerer rather than ultra pigmented, but some shades are ultra sheer while others are semi-sheer and provide decent color to lips.  Rubis Rose is one of the latter types — it’s dark without being too dark, so you can wear it alone or over another color to add more depth.

It has a rose-floral scent, a slightly perfume-y scent, which I know some people really dislike, but I like it (I don’t love it, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t bother me).  What I like about the KissKiss Gloss is that it lasts a good amount of time for a lipgloss when its worn on its own — I get about four to five hours of wear before it starts to fade/disappear.  I’ve always loved the sparkle factor, too, which is noticeable and bright and fun.

Price-wise, these aren’t the best bang for your buck, and by their nature, they’re not something everyone is going to rush out to buy.  To each their own, I say!   Price analysis tells us that Guerlain’s KissKiss Glosses are some of the pricier high-end lipglosses, being more expensive than many of its direct competitors like Dior and YSL, but still less expensive than Stila and Smashbox, by the ounce.

Bottom Line:
The packaging is pretty and elegant, the formula is stellar, and the color itself is perfect for the fall/winter seasons.  The only downside is the price, and I think Guerlain fans won’t find the price to be much of an obstacle.


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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: If you love the KissKiss formula and are looking for a nice plummy shade, check out the new Rubis Rose!

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora.com

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Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Sephora FAME Lip Gloss ($10.00 for 0.5 oz.) are new, limited edition shades exclusive to Sephora (and branded by Sephora) inspired by the film. The launch includes five shades: In the Spotlight (shimmering violet), Raw Talent (shimmering light peach champagne), Rising Star (shimmering vibrant pink), Standing Ovation (shimmering bright red), and Starring Role (shimmering pink with gold sheen).

I tested out two shades: Standing Ovation, which is kind of a sheer, fiery red with golden shimmer, and Raw Talent, which is a sheer, milky champagne with iridescent shimmer. They both relatively sheer, but I did find both added some color to my lips. I liked Standing Ovation more for its wearability, as Raw Talent is a little pale to wear alone for me. These glosses are kind of like lip jellies to me, because they’re thick, non-sticky, and pretty hydrating while you wear them. They wear about average–nothing notable either positive or negative–which is about three to four hours on me.

The packaging is a simple and functional, and these are easy to keep in purses or pockets and reapplying without a mirror is easy enough with the squeeze-tube design. The price tag is easy to swallow at $10 a pop and you do get a good amount of gloss for your money (same size as MAC Lipglasses).

Bottom Line: They’re fun, slightly gimmicky glosses – they’re not the best gloss I’ve tried, but they’re decent.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  Cute, and if you’re a FAME fan, they’re a decent gloss with a high glossy sheen and lots of pretty sparkle, so don’t feel bad just caving for the logo!

Availability: Sephora

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