Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

MAC Nicki Minaj Pink Friday Lipstick
MAC Pink Friday Lipstick

MAC & Nicki Minaj Pink Friday Lipstick

Oooh, you are SO lucky! FedEx JUST dropped of a little black box that could only mean MAC… and inside was MAC & Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday lipstick. I say you’re lucky because I have to head to class in about fifteen minutes–I had just enough time to snap photos, swatch, crop, and upload.

Pink Friday is described as a “bright creamy pink lipstick,” and it has a satin finish (which means it has a creamy, semi-matte finish–no shimmer). It is a a creamy, medium pink with a noticeable blue undertone. It is pretty opaque on lips, and it almost has a chalky look, because it’s paler than it looks. I thought it was going to be a deeper pink, even based on seeing in the tube (in person), but it goes on paler.  I also recommend prepping lips as satin lipsticks can often emphasize dryness or any flakiness on lips!

It is bluer-based (veers on purple) in comparison to All Styled Up. It is totally different from Chatterbox and Sweetie. Fun Fun looks washed out and muddy when swatched next to it. Lavender Whip is significantly glossier and purpler. Saint Germain and Snob are actually the closest to Pink Friday; both are just a hue lighter, but the colors are very, very similar. Funny enough, Viva Glam Gaga looks less blue-based against all of these stronger, bluer-based pinks (see swatch).

DUPES:  Saint Germain, Snob

I apologize in advance — I do not have Pink Nouveau to compare this to. I was actually planning to purchase it along with Pink Friday on Friday but this press sample arrived this afternoon. I have a skin swatch of Pink Nouveau here, and you can tell it is similar–not quite as bright, probably not quite as blue-based.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The texture is a little off — it doesn’t apply as smoothly or as cleanly as other satin finish lipsticks. If you have either Snob or Saint Germain, this is close enough that you could skip.  This is a shade that looks best on cooler skin tones because of the strong blue base.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics

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Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Clarins Blackberry Rouge Prodige Lipstick
Clarins Blackberry Rouge Prodige Lipstick

First Look at Clarins Rouge Prodige

Clarins Blackberry Rouge Prodige Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.10 oz.) is Clarins’ latest in lipstick formulas–it’s supposed to be a long-wearing lipstick with intense color that smooths away lip lines with high shine. Blackberry is an opaque, muted, pinked plum with a glossy shine. It’s actually a lovely shade for fall and winter that’s perfect for the season without being overwhelming.

It does have that shiny, glossy finish the description boasts, and it doesn’t feel like the traditional long-wearing lipstick does. There is nothing drying about it when you apply it, because it applies like a thin gloss or a gloss/lipstick hybrid. The color pay off is excellent, though, and really delivers opaque color with a lightweight feel. I only get four hours of wear with this shade, and for me, that’s the average time a lipstick wears on me–it’s just not that long-wearing. It doesn’t transfer much when drinking from a glass, but for whatever reason, it just doesn’t extend past four hours.

The Rouge Prodige is a comfortable lipstick to wear, because it doesn’t cling or dry lips out (but while it has a glossy feel when applied, I do not find it moisturizing).  There is a faint sweetened berry scent that is detectable but not overpowering (and doesn’t read synthetic or syrupy sweet), and there was no noticeable taste.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: I always welcome a new line with opaque lip color (because it’s easier to sheer out an opaque color than it is to build up the color of a sheer shade!), and Rouge Prodige is a nice lipstick overall–it just falls short of its long-wearing claims for me.  If it didn’t have that claim, I would have given it a higher score.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Caramel Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Caramel Lipstick

Have you tried Dolce & Gabbana’s Caramel?

Dolce & Gabbana Caramel Classic Cream Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a tanned nude with a subtle golden sheen. It’s semi-opaque–it can be a touch streaky–but it’s opaque in most places.  The streakiness is bothersome, if only because the majority of the range doesn’t suffer from that issue. Like other Dolce & Gabbana lip products, it is heavily rose scented.  I get an average of four hours of wear with Dolce & Gabbana’s Classic Cream Lipsticks; they’re not overly moisturizing, but I don’t find them drying.  They just… are.

At first glance, it seems like a shade that would really work for warmer skin tones. After wearing it, though, I’m not so sure. I’m not sure who this would flatter–it made my skin tone look almost green! On me, it’s probably one of the least flattering lip colors I’ve tried in recent memory. I’m actually really curious to see if anyone else has picked this up and found it to work really well (if so, please tell me what your skin tone is!).

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

RECOMMENDATION: I haven’t had a lip color do such weird things to my skin tone before, so I would recommend trying it before buying it.

AVAILABILITY: Saks

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Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Estee Lauder Night Bloom Pure Color Gloss Stick
Estee Lauder Night Bloom Pure Color Gloss Stick

Estee Lauder Gloss Sticks: Night Bloom

Estee Lauder Night Bloom Pure Color Gloss Stick ($18.50 for 0.08 oz.) is the warmer sister of Mauve Mirage. It’s a warmer pink with soft golden shimmer with a glossy finish. The color itself is semi-opaque (very close to being opaque, actually) but still looks soft and elegant.

The Pure Color Gloss Stick formula is very creamy–it’s very much gloss-meets-lipstick in terms of the texture and feel on lips. I love that the color is semi-opaque without feeling heavy, and even though it has plenty of shine, it still lasts three to four hours and keeps lips soft. Like many other Estee Lauder lip products, it does have that sweet fig scent but no taste.

I think for those who were disappointed when MAC discontinued their Slimshines, you will find Estee Lauder’s Gloss Sticks to be a nice alternative. (And given that they’re all owned by the same company, may be closer in formula than you think!) The only criticism I have is regarding how little product they give you–0.08 oz. is rather undersized relative to Estee Lauder’s Lipsticks (0.13 oz.).

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you love creamy lip color that still delivers on color while providing high-shine, these Gloss Sticks might be what you’re looking for.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Estee Lauder Mauve Mirage Pure Color Gloss Stick
Estee Lauder Mauve Mirage Pure Color Gloss Stick

Estee Lauder Gloss Sticks:  Mauve Mirage

Estee Lauder Mauve Mirage Pure Color Gloss Stick ($18.50 for 0.08 oz.) was a little surprise! It swatched a little sheer, almost streakily, but it was absolutely gorgeous applied. It’s a lovely shade of subdued cotton candy pink with a blue-base and subtle gold shimmer.

The Pure Color Gloss Stick formula is very creamy–it’s very much gloss-meets-lipstick in terms of the texture and feel on lips. I love that the color is semi-opaque without feeling heavy, and even though it has plenty of shine, it still lasts three to four hours and keeps lips soft. Like many other Estee Lauder lip products, it does have that sweet fig scent but no taste.

I think for those who were disappointed when MAC discontinued their Slimshines, you will find Estee Lauder’s Gloss Sticks to be a nice alternative. (And given that they’re all owned by the same company, may be closer in formula than you think!) The only criticism I have is regarding how little product they give you–0.08 oz. is rather undersized relative to Estee Lauder’s Lipsticks (0.13 oz.).

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you love creamy lip color that still delivers on color while providing high-shine, these Gloss Sticks might be what you’re looking for.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Lust Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Lust Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Evocative Beauty: Lust

Dolce & Gabbana Lust Classic Cream Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a dark, purpled berry with very fine, barely-there violet micro-shimmer. It has a glossier finish than many of Dolce & Gabbana’s other Classic Cream lipsticks, actually! It almost looks like a lip stain, because it has some sheerness.  I found that this particular shade was more prone to bleeding, and I don’t often find lipsticks to bleed–but the slicker feel of the formula combined with the dark color proved otherwise.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Cream Lipsticks wear an average of four hours on me, but this shade is pigmented and deep enough that I get around five and a half. It is heavily scented with rose, but I mostly smell it in the tube, not so much when worn.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: The color range is very classic–most shades, if not all, are universally flattering and come in hues that are quite wearable.

AVAILABILITY: Saks

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