Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Philosophy Holiday Spice and Everything Nice Gift Set ($20.00) includes Holiday Spice and Everything Nice Shower Gel (8 oz.) and Lip Shine (0.5 oz.). It’s just one of the many gift sets available from Philosophy’s Holiday Collection.

Holiday Spice and Everything Nice is kind of a holiday-esque spicy scent blend with a citrus-y feel. I found it definitely had a slight orange-y citrus scent to it, amongst the holiday spice. I can’t really describe what it smells like, except Christmas, to me. Philosophy doesn’t do much better, as they describe this scent as, “a sensational blend of citrus and all your favorite warm holiday spices, created to heighten your holiday experience and give you the warm-fuzzies.”

I found that that the Lip Shine had a stronger scent than the shower gel, and like most Philosophy shower gels, the scent doesn’t linger much further than the bathroom. (This is good for me, since I usually use a scented body lotion or perfume, so I’d rather not deal with how things layer.) Philosophy’s Lip Shines are non-sticky, slightly jelly-esque, and tend to be more shimmer than color. I didn’t notice much taste (more like tasteless) in the product when I licked my lips, though.

This set isn’t really a value set, because you don’t really save any money by buying the two products together, but you don’t spend more to get them together, either. Also, as far as I know, you can only purchase full-sized shower gels, which are $16 for 16 oz., and this is half the size. Since I’m more of a “gotta try ‘em all” person when it comes to Philosophy’s shower gels, I’m more apt to try out their kits. (But then again, I also collect their Lip Shines!)

I do feel like Philosophy keeps their products are a relatively affordable price point when it comes non-mass brands. One bottle of shower gel lasts me months, and I adore the variety of scents they offer.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  It’s not my favorite scent, BUT I think if you like Christmas-y scents, you may like this one.  I love Philosophy shower gels, though, so if the scent is up your alley, I recommend it!

Availability: Nordstrom, Philosophy

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Tuesday, October 20th, 2009


Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss: Canari, Colibri, Hirondelle

Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss ($27.00) will see an addition of three new, limited edition shades as part of Chanel’s Holiday Collection. The shades include Canari, which is a peachy-melon with golden-peach shimmer; Colibri, which is a shimmery champagne with iridescent shimmer; and Hirondelle, which is a medium pink with pink and gold shimmer.

All three Aqualumiere Glosses appearing with the holiday collection are very sheer shades. They pack pretty shimmer, but they don’t add much in the way of color. Canari goes on as a golden shimmer, which is pretty and definitely holiday-esque–I’d probably layer it over a red for a little extra glitz. Colibri makes my lips appear cooler and paler with iridescent silvery white shimmer. It actually reminds me a bit of MAC’s She-Zam Dazzleglass, but with a little more of a pinkish tone to it. Surprisingly, Hirondelle adds the most color to lips, and it appears as a soft, slightly milky pink with pink shimmer.

Aqualumiere Glosses are sheer, ultra glossy, and non-sticky. It comes with a brush-tipped applicator which makes for fairly easy application. I’m easygoing when it comes to gloss applicators – doe foot or brush, it’s all good! They’re not the most long-lasting lipgloss (I certainly wouldn’t dub them long-wearing) – I get about three hours of wear when I layer one on by itself. Over a lipstick, I do get better results (four to five hours overall for the average pairing). I still prefer some of the earlier released shades of Aqualumiere Glosses–I remember being really jazzed over them initially–but these new shades for holiday are a little too sheer for my liking. I’d suggest checking out permanent shades like Candy Glow and Ginger Shimmer instead.

Bottom Line: Aqualumiere Glosses are, by their nature, sheer, so I’m not going to knock a bunch of points off on that account.  These shades just aren’t to my particular taste, but if you like non-sticky, ultra glossy lipgloss, then Aqualumiere Glosses are always a good bet–just as long as you’re in the market for something on the sheerer side.

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of the feel and texture of Chanel’s Aqualumiere Glosses, you might want to peep the new shades. They’re very much on the sheer side, though!

Availability: October 2009 at CHANEL counters

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Possessed by Pink! Lip Kit

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Lip Kits

I cannot tell a lie: I hate lip palettes with a passion. There are many reasons why I passionately dislike lip palettes, and lest you be swayed by packaging and pretty shades, I’ll enumerate my top three for you.

1. They’re messy. If you even think about sticking your finger into the palette, you’re going to get a messy, germ-tastic palette.
2. They’re never as pigmented as a regular gloss/lipstick. Lip palettes always feel like pale imitations of the real thing.
3. They’re a pain in the butt to use. To keep it clean, you need to use a lip brush every time, and I consider that a pain. I also consider the little lip brush they include a pain in the butt to use, because the handle is so tiny, it’s difficult to hold (at least in my hands).

Possessed By Pink! Lip Kit ($22.50 U.S.)

  • Sweet Smile is a sheer, rosy-pink gloss confection. It has a lot of multicolored shimmer.
  • Laugh A Lot is a sheer medium rosy pink with a glossy sheen and not much shimmer.
  • Tickled is a dark, plummy brown with a glossy sheen.

Heavenly Dish Neutral Lip Kit ($22.00 U.S.)

  • Barely Visible is a sheer, glossy nude with lighter gold shimmer.
  • Heavenly Dish is a sheer, pale, light pink with a glossy finish.
  • Floating Lightly is a sheer dirty brown-beige with a glossy sheen.

I would never purchase these lip palettes if it wasn’t to review for the blog. I wholeheartedly don’t recommend purchasing them. On occasion, MAC will put one or two stunning shades into their lip palettes, and I, inevitably, cave, but this year is a total miss. Skip the palettes. If you want a deal, buy one of the lip bags instead. Or just buy one or two lipsticks/glosses you really like instead. At least MAC only put out two kits this year, as opposed to the three or four they normally launch.

I know there are some of you who love lip palettes, so if that’s you… take my review with a grain of salt. :)

  • Product: 20/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 2/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

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Thursday, October 15th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Dazzleglasses: Phiff, She-Zam, Jingle Jangle

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Dazzleglasses

A few months ago, we previewed Phiff! and She-Zam, and finally, we can check out the third – Jingle Jangle. (Note: I hope to have lip swatches posted tomorrow or this weekend.)

  • Phiff! is a sheer, golden-shimmered shade. It really is more about the shimmer in it than extracting any color. This one felt a little flat to me.
  • She-Zam is a sheer, super silver shimmered shade. Like Phiff!, it’s all about the shimmer, but this one has a ton of shimmer in it. It’s glitzy and perfect for holiday. It reminded me of shades like Pas-de-deux lipglass, too. It has a kind of grayish cast with all the silver glitter, but there is also pink and dusty shimmer in it, too. I consider this one a must-have, particularly if you like dazzleglasses.
  • Jingle Jangle is a medium pink with pink and multicolored sparkle. I think MAC could have really pushed out an ultra red, glitzy-glam shade here, and they went with a very safe, very ehh kind of shade instead.

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Thursday, October 15th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Cremesheen Glasses: Ever So Rich, Boy Bait, Partial to Pink

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Cremesheen Glasses

If you’ve been in the MAC-know for the past year, you probably remember the original launch of the Cremesheen Glasses. The three released with the holiday collection are all repromotes from that launch, so this is your chance to a) stock up if you loved them; b) try them if you passed on them before; or c) save money because you already have/skipped them. I don’t personally love Cremesheen Glasses, as I find them too sheer to bother (they nearly all looked the same on my lips), but I know others love the formula — which is non-sticky, thick, and creamy.

  • Ever So Rich is a pale lilac that goes on like a sheer, milky pinky-purple.
  • Boy Bait is a sheer pinky-peach. This looks just like a milky nude on me (not particularly flattering).
  • Partial to Pink is a sheer medium pink. Like Boy Bait, this looks mostly like a milky pink on me.

You can view the lip swatches I did originally. These just aren’t my thing, but I also think I’m slightly allergic to these (they make my lips tingle and itch), so there’s even less reason for me to like them. I think Ever So Rich is the only shade that I’d feel compelled to get, but I know that has to do with the way it looks in the tube and not so much on my lips.

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

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Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Korres Cherry Lip Kisses ($19.50) is a set of three 0.20 oz. lipglosses (that’s full size!) by Korres for the price of just a little more than one single lipgloss. After trying #52 in Red Pink, I wanted to see how the other shades stacked up and if they were as opaque as that one (which was already a darker gloss).

  • #33 Nude is a semi-sheer peachy-nude with golden copper sparkle. This one was just okay – there’s nothing really special that drives this color. It looks blah on my lips, and it’s the sheerest Korres’ lipgloss I’ve tried. It’s not a bad shade, it’s just not one I’d actively seek out.
  • #25 Natural Purple is a creamy, semi-opaque played down pink with no shimmer. I actually liked this one the most out of the three shades, because it gave me full color, lots of glossiness, and it looked natural. I don’t know why it’s called Natural Purple, but it’s definitely an easy, wearable shade.
  • #54 Fuchsia is a semi-opaque medium fuchsia with softer pink fuchsia sparkle. This one settled a bit into lines and applied streaky, so some care needs to be used to apply it and get a more even look. It’s a fun pop of pink, but I’ve seen this color before.

Korres’ Cherry Full Color Gloss is a moisturizing, non-sticky gloss with a high-shine glossy finish that tends to be more pigmented than the typical gloss. Not all shades are created equal, so some shades are more opaque than others. The gloss has a faint scent of cherry, but it’s hardly noticeable (which may or may not be a good thing for you).

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Availability: Sephora

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