Friday, November 25th, 2011

Guerlain Coque d'Or (120) Rouge Automatique
Guerlain Coque d’Or (120) Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Coque d’Or (120) Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Coque d’Or (120) Rouge Automatique ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant coral-red with gold and copper micro-shimmer. It’s mostly opaque on lips, but you can see my lip freckle peeking through–from afar, it appears more opaque. I can see this working really well in the summer–so good thing this is part of the permanent range.  This particular formula is supposed to be semi-opaque to opaque in color, so Coque d’Or is right on target.

CoverGirl Enthrall is more like a red-orange (at best, orange-coral). MAC Hibiscus is more of an orange-coral (but not red like Enthrall). Guerlain Bal de Mai is almost like a more muted version of this, actually! Chanel Flamboyante is not as dark and doesn’t have the gold shimmer, but the color is similar. MAC Rose Maiden has a frostier finish and isn’t as dark, but it is also similar.

Rouge Automatique is very comparable to the Rouge G formula, and the differences are minute, though they are there. This is an excellent formula regardless of that comparison, though, because it’s creamy enough to glide on but not so creamy that the color slips around, comfortable to wear for the six hours this shade wears, and keeps lips feeling hydrated, too.  For more packaging photos, please see this post.

The Glossover

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product

Coque d'Or

A+
Rouge Automatique is a top-notch formula, because the creaminess of the texture enables it to glide on, making for an easy application, but it's lightweight and never slippery, so it stays on and wears for hours.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, November 24th, 2011

NYX Chic Red Round Lipstick
NYX Chic Red Round Lipstick

NYX Chic Red Round Lipstick

NYX Chic Red Round Lipstick ($4.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a vibrant pink-red with strong blue undertones. It’s more vibrant compared to Guerlain Liu and just a touch more compared to MAC Prolong.  It’s a very cool-toned lipstick, which means it really makes teeth look white, and it will naturally flatter cooler complexions better. I find that the intensity of reds (along with plums, berries, etc.) make them appropriate on warmer complexions, too, because of how rich and deep in color they are. It’s opaque in color and a little goes a long way!

The finish is semi-matte, but it doesn’t feel dry when applied or even a couple of hours after wearing it, which is unexpected and much appreciated. This color does stain, but it also wears for six hours comfortably and feels a touch drying as it contiunues to wear to eight hours. I didn’t experience any feathering or bleeding, though my lips are not prone to either generally. Mine didn’t have any noticeable scent, but I have had this particular shade in the to-review-bin for some time, so it may have lost it over time.

The Glossover

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product

Chic Red

A
It's not only a great shade of red with a quality formula, but it's extremely affordable at $4.00. I was really surprised at how comfortable this was over time, especially for something with such a semi-matte finish!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Saturday, November 19th, 2011

MAC Gareth Pugh Lipstick
MAC Fervent Lipstick

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Lipsticks

MAC Fervent Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “glossy blackened berry” with a satin finish. Fervent is a slightly red-toned purpled berry with semi-opaque color coverage. It’s lighter and more berry compared to MAC Faultlessly F/W. MAC Smoked Purple is darker, more opaque, and more matte in finish. It’s interesting that they describe the finish as satin but also glossy, because it looks and feels a bit more like a glaze finish. With a color as dark as this, it’s really obvious when it doesn’t apply evenly, and Fervent is a real trickster. It does not apply evenly, disappears into lip lines, and even when you manage to get it just right, the minute your lips touch and pull away, you’re back to square one!

MAC Restrict Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “creamy grayed nude” with a cremesheen finish. It’s a pink-based nude that is very, very pale and light. I find the texture a bit dry, so it’s a little unforgiving on the lips close-up. It’s much lighter and cooler-toned compared to MAC Innocence, Beware!. It’s more like a cooler-toned MAC Fleshpot. MAC Close to Real is similar in lightness but peachier. The color coverage is mostly opaque with a subtle frosted shine. Over time, I have found the cremesheen finishes to be a bit drying.

MAC lipsticks typically last four hours on me, and they’re vanilla-scented but taste-free. These are the same size as a regular MAC lipstick, but they are housed in square black tubes with the signature logo on the top and the label on the bottom.

The Glossover

product

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Lipsticks Reviews, Photos, Swatches

B-
Neither of them were exceptional. With Fervent, I had issues both applying and maintaining an even layer of color, and it had a tendency to settle into lip lines. Restrict had good color payoff, but the texture was on the drier side (and the lipstick formula is a bit drying for me during wear) so it is more unforgiving.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Friday, November 18th, 2011

Chanel La Ravissante (32) Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color
Chanel La Ravissante (32) Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color

Chanel La Ravissante (32) Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color

Chanel La Ravissante (32) Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a coral-orange with a soft shine. It’s not matte exactly–it’s more semi-matte–but the shine disappears within the first hour, and you get a much more matte look at that time. It looks a bit like a subtly frosted matte after the shine wears off. Bobbi Brown Sweet Nectar is a bit darker, Chanel Teheran is very similar but a touch pinker and frosted, and Milani Cora Bora Bora is fairly similar but also frosted.

The new Rouge Allure Velvet formula is supposed to yield rich color with a soft velvet matte finish that’s non-drying and glides on. La Ravissante is opaque, and the texture of these feels amazing when you first apply; it’s soft, comfortable, and glides across lips like skates on ice. It also wears for hours and hours–with this particular shade, the color was still quite intact after four hours and a lunch. It continued to linger on like a heavyweight champ for another four hours. The wear on these is between six and eight hours, and while they’re not transfer-proof (did not pass the kiss test at all), the majority of the color hangs around.

There are a lot of things to like about this lipstick, but there is one glaring characteristic that I really dislike–borderline loathe–this is so, so drying. I just feel like it’s sucking the very life out of my lips after an hour or two of wear. Testing this product was painful after six hours, because my lips felt dry, cracked, and beyond chapped. When I hit the eight hour mark when testing La Ravissante, I removed it ASAP and applied half a tube of balm on my lips (not really, but you get the picture!). I’ve been testing out various shades from the new range since my order arrived from Nordstrom about a week and a half ago, and all the shades I’ve tried have had the same drying characteristic.

They don’t claim that it’s hydrating, but they do claim it’s non-drying, and I was fussing with my lips after an hour. I went to lunch with a friend, and she noticed how uncomfortable I seemed to be with my lipstick and asked if I was testing something new (but of course!). Because it’s so drying, the lines on my lips become more and more noticeable with more product welling into them. It’s not just drying after you wear it for six or eight hours, but my lips felt dry and chapped after an hour. I’ve worn hundreds of lipsticks and glosses over the years, and very few products cling and dry out my lips like this. There are many matte formulas and shades I’ve worn over the years and few have been as drying as I found these.

I know a lot of readers seemed to express good experiences with these, too, which had me excited, but I would never reach for one of these lipsticks. I could only test one every couple of days because of the toll they took on my lips. If you don’t mind layering with lip balm, which often defeats the look of a matte finish, the long-wearing color may make it worth it.  Claims (such as being non-drying) are encompassed by the overall product rating, but this product excelled in pigmentation and longevity, which cushioned the impact of how drying it was (how drying it was also impacted the texture score).  I would not recommend this product, based on my experience, but the grade would lead one to believe a less harsh recommendation. If only they felt more like they do when they’re initially applied, because it’s soft, smooth, and comfortable.

The Glossover

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product

La Ravissante

B-
I would NOT recommend these based on my personal experience. I know a lot of readers seemed to express good experiences with these, too, which had me excited, but I would never reach for one of these lipsticks. I could only test one every couple of days because of the toll they took on my lips. If you don't mind layering with lip balm, which often defeats the look of a matte finish, the long-wearing color may make it worth it.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Dior Versailles Rouge Dior Lip Color
Dior Versailles Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Versailles Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Versailles (527) Rouge Dior Lip Color ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) has a pinky-coral base color with peachy-gold shimmer finished with a glossy shine. The color coverage is semi-opaque–there’s some translucency but looks better from afar (the translucency is harder to detect). It does have a bit of a frostier finish, but there is also a fair amount of shine to it. MAC Mellowarm is more orangeand lacks the golden sheen, Dior Coral is a bit more orange with less of a sheen, Korres #18 is much pinker but has a golden sheen, Guerlain Gems is a touch more coral (less pink) and has the same golden sheen, and (finally!) MAC Fresh Salmon is much pinker.

I liked that the color glided across my lips easily and pretty evenly (especially given how much shimmer it has!). Versailles wore for four hours well enough not to need an reapplication, but it did need one by the sixth hour. I wouldn’t call it a long-wearing shade, which is what the Rouge Dior line-up is supposed to be. It’s good, solid wear, though, and what is really important is that it’s comfortable and hydrating to wear–no chapped lips after it fades away.

On a personal note, this is one of my favorite coral lipsticks (it’s very similar to my all-time favorite,  Guerlain Gems), so as one coral fiend to another, I definitely recommend it on the basis of color alone.

The Glossover

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product

Versailles

B+
As far as the color goes, it's a great coral--not too bright or orange or pink--and I don't find many that are just right like this, but the length of wear doesn't live up to the brand's marketing, which is really the biggest flaw of this particular product.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Chanel Dragon Rouge Allure Laque
Chanel Dragon Rouge Allure Laque

An Ode to Chanel Dragon Rouge Allure Laque

What would you do if one of your holy grail beauty products was discontinued? (And I’m sure that many of you have had it happen, so what did you actually do?)

About two weeks ago, I tweeted that Chanel Customer Service confirmed, via email, that all but Coromandel were going to be discontinued in 2011. I called their customer service line to get confirmation through that route, just in case, and they had the reverse information–Coromandel was being discontinued but nothing else–but they said they would escalate my question up to corporate. Last Wednesday, I had to tweet confirmation by Chanel corporate that all shades (except Coromandel) were being discontinued in 2011.

Long-time readers know that Chanel Dragon (75) Rouge Allure Laque ($32.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is one of few holy grail products for me, and it really is; it’s the red I reach for on every special occasion. It’s my power red. There is no other lip color that garners as many compliments as this shade. So I did what any beauty addict would do: immediately bought back-ups upon back-ups. I haven’t finished my original tube of Dragon, though I suspect I am nearly the end, and had already repurchased a second tube for future use. I bought five more, though I plan to distribute a few of those to my favorite people this Christmas.  It’s still available (at least online) at Nordstrom and Saks.

Realistically, there are numerous other reds I love and enjoy, and while it may not be that on oh-my-goodness-this-is-perfect level, they’re close enough, and I’ll make it through. With luck, Chanel is replacing the RAL line-up with something bigger and better. With even better luck, I’ll discover a dupe or an even more fantastic red over time. Guerlain Garconne is the closest I’ve found so far.

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