Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Make Up For Ever #4 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick
Make Up For Ever #4 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick

Digging for Antiques with Make Up For Ever

Make Up For Ever #4 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a dusty pink with a matte finish. It’s opaque in color, and it wears really long and well (over five hours). It’s actually described as a “matte antique pink,” and I can kind of see where they get that, but there’s just this peeking of coral through the pink that I can’t ignore.

my thoughts on the formula: The Rouge Artist Intense formula is typically opaque, and while it’s not a moisturizing lipstick, it’s not a drying one either, though it does not feel creamy against the lips (it may take a little more pressure to apply than your average lipstick). With lighter shades, I see four hours of wear, but with darker shades, I get around five to six hours of wear.

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

final thoughts: This is a flattering shade on a variety of skin tones, from light to dark, cool to warm. The color coverage is excellent, so it should work well on those with more pigmented lips, too. It is also one of the less clingy shades from the Rouge Artist Intense range.

where to buy: Sephora

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Lipsticks
MAC Wonder Woman Lipsticks

MAC Wonder Woman: Lipsticks

MAC WONDER WOMAN LIPSTICK ($15.50 for 0.10 oz.) include four shades: Heroine (brown bronze), Marquise d’ (sandy cream peach), Russian Red (intense blue red), and Spitfire (bright creamy magenta).

  • Heroine is a rich, molten bronzed brown with a metallic sheen. It is nearly opaque in color, though not quite. This is a frost finish. It seems like a less red version of Strength.
  • Marquise d’ is a semi-sheer pinky-nude with soft champagne sheen. This is a lustre finish, and it is a repromote. It’s a little like Shy Girl, though lighter and sheerer.
  • Russian Red is a rich, creamy blue-based red. This is a matte finish and part of the permanent range. This is not one of MAC’s drying mattes, though!
  • Spitfire is a dark pink with magenta. This is a satin finish. It is pinker than Style Curve, pinker and less bright than Petals & Peacocks, similar to Smashbox Flirty.  Anyone else think it’s a little muted for something named Spitfire?

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. I typically get four hours of wear, but some of the lighter lustre and glaze finishes tend to disappear by hour three. Amplified cremes and amplified finishes, however, tend to go beyond four. I find the formula comfortable to wear and not drying (but not moisturizing–a couple of the matte shades can be drying).

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

final thoughts: Heroine will suit warmer complexions slightly better than cooler ones, while the other three are wearable by both cool and warm skin tones. Russian Red looks stunning on light to dark and cool to warm. Keep in mind, Russian Red is permanent, so you can save $1 by buying it in regular packaging. Spitfire is rather dupeable as MAC has put out several pinky-purple shades in the past six months.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman: Video Review (Part 2 – Cheeks & Lips)

First impressions/preliminary review of the blushes, mineralize skinfinishes, lipsticks, and lipglasses from the MAC Wonder Woman Collection. I always film these as I swatch, so it is the first time seeing the products for me in the video as well.

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

NYX Brown Sugar Lipstick
NYX Brown Sugar Lipstick

The Sultry Season: NYX Brown Sugar Lipstick

NYX Brown Sugar Round Lipstick ($4.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a rich bronzy, reddened brown with copper shimmer.  It has opaque color coverage with a frosted finish, so it is less creamy than some other NYX Round Lipsticks I’ve tried, but on the plus side, lasts for four hours as compared to my usual two to three.

my thoughts on the formula: NYX Round Lipsticks are really creamy and generally opaque in color. The texture and shade range are great. However, the scent of them can run from waxy to synthetic sweetness (neither are particularly pleasant)–and sometimes they smell like nothing at all.  I typically get two to three hours of wear.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: If you tend to stay away from brown lipsticks for fear of wearing a more dated shade, this copper-shimmered brown is a modern take on a classic look.

where to buy: NYX

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Guerlain Rose Desir Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Rose Desir Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Spring 2011: Rose Desir

Guerlain Rose Desir (71) Rouge G Lipstick ($47.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a soft rosy pink with pale pink and white shimmer. It has a slightly glossy finish and semi-opaque color. It has a little milkiness to the base color. This particular shade is new and limited edition for spring and comes in special edition black lacquered packaging. (You can see the black lacquered packaging here.)  It actually feels a bit more like the Rouge G Brilliant formula than the typical Rouge G–not quite as opaque, still very emollient and creamy but not as long-wearing.

my thoughts on the formula: Long-time readers will know that Guerlain’s Rouge G formula is one of my absolute favorite lipsticks, so I always look forward to new and seasonal shade releases. Rouge G colors have certain nuances to them just seem to make them more flattering when worn. The formula is moisturizing, long-wearing (four to six hours), and comfortable to wear–never heavy but generally opaque in color. I’m still crossing my fingers for refills, because as elegant as the case is, so much of the price must be attributed to it, and it would be nice to be able to reuse it.

The one thing I noticed about these is though the weight feels the same (we actually whipped out the scale, it was a 0.06 oz. lighter), the magnet enclosure seemed slightly weaker. If you throw ‘em around, the black lacquered case’s lid will fall off easier than the metal one (which also slips off if you put it through the tests we did, haha). I carried one in my purse all day, though, and it was fine.

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

final thoughts: It’s a beautiful springtime pink, and though I don’t have a laundry list of dupes for this exact shade, there are enough springy pinks that you could pass on this shade if you only want to save your $47 for the most unique of the Rouge G line-up.  This shade will work for warm and cooler skin tones.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Giorgio Armani #404 Rouge d'Armani Lipstick
Giorgio Armani #404 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

Quick! Snatch Up This Limited Edition Holiday Red!

Giorgio Armani #404 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a bright pink-tinged ruby red with a subtle metallic sheen in its finish. It has lots of ruby micro-shimmer–it’s subtle but it’s there. The color applies nearly opaque, and it wears beautifully (at least six hours). This is a gorgeous holiday red!

my thoughts on the formula: The formula itself is moisturizing, long-wearing (six to eight hours), and comfortable to wear. It’s not clingy nor heavy, and there’s enough slip to give it that creamy look where the color nearly melts against your lips. Rouge d’Armani Lipsticks are also scent- and taste-free (and no waxy scent, either!). It comes in a sleek, glossy black case with a magnetic enclosure to ensure your lipstick is closed at all times.

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

final thoughts: Infinitely flattering on both cooler and warmer skin tones, pigmented and rich enough to work on pale and dark complexions, #404 is one of those darling holiday reds that many covet.

where to buy: Giorgio Armani

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