Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Estee Lauder Wild Blossom Pure Color Lipstick
Estee Lauder Wild Blossom Pure Color Lipstick

Estee Lauder Wild Violet Collection: Wild Blossom

Estee Lauder Wild Blossom Pure Color Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a light-medium pink-beige with soft, pale gold micro-shimmer hidden within a creamy finish. It’s opaque on my lips, and the lightness of the color does make it seem creamier than other shades from this launch.

my thoughts on the formula: The coverage is excellent, and it feels lightweight despite its pigmentation. It’s also more moisturizing than your average lipstick, which makes it comfortable to wear. I get about five hours of wear with this shade in particular, because it is more pigmented. Estee Lauder’s lipsticks are scented with a lightly sweetened fig but are taste-free to me.

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

final thoughts: This is a nice shade that can be worn everyday and paired with any eye or cheek–whether it’s bold and smoky or soft and neutral.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Monday, February 21st, 2011

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick: Bare Pink (9), Plum Rose (10), Rose Blossom (11), Heather Pink (12), Mod Pink (13)

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color: Part 2

We’re back with the second set of five Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color SPF 12 ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.). These shades are officially described as: Bare Pink (beige), Plum Rose (rich plum), Rose Blossom (pink rose), Heather Pink (dusty rose), and Mod Pink (bright pink). The Rich Lip Color is new lipstick formula for spring (and being added to the permanent range). According to Bobbi Brown, these are “lightweight, yet intense” and have “a clear base to deliver pure, crisp color with just one swipe.” The formula is also “creamy and moisturizing.” (Be sure to check out part one.)

I’ve road tested three shades from the line-up specifically for wear: Bikini Pink, Soft Coral, Old Hollywood. The idea is to test for wear and to do so with shades with different intensities. Bikini Pink is the lightest, while Soft Coral lies in the middle, and Old Hollywood, being a red, was likely to last the longest. The lighter colors inevitably fade/last less than deeper shades, as deeper shades often stain, which is why I try to test from both ends of a spectrum when it comes to a new lipstick formula.

  • Bare Pink is a pink-tinged peach-beige with a creamy finish and soft shine. It remindedme of Guerlain’s Guerlinade, without the shimmer, and perhaps a touch darker. It is also lighter and less orange in compraison to Korres #34 Nude Guava.
  • Plum Rose is a plummy pink with a creamy finish and soft shine. It is similar to Hourglass Nocturnal, just a little less plum, along with Maybelline Bit of Berry (but also less plum).
  • Rose Blossom is a brighter plum pink–it is very similar to Plum Rose, but it’s a touch brighter. It is less plum in comparison to both Houglass Nocturnal and Maybelline Bit of Berry, but it is also brighter.
  • Heather Pink is a dusty, muted pink–a little beige-brown in it. It is a little pinker than Benefit Lala Land.
  • Mod Pink is a cool-toned, brighter medium pink with blue undertones. It is similar to Dolce & Gabbana Splendid and Lancome Pink Sapphire.

my thoughts on the formula: These are really comfortable to wear,with their semi-matte finishes, creamy but lightweight texture, and rich color coverage.  Every shade was opaque and needed very little product to achieve full color coverage.  They are also scent- and taste-free, which should appeal to some.  Wear was anywhere from four to six hours, with deeper shades like Old Hollywood lasting a full six and beginning to fade after that.  Lighter shades hung on for about four hours.

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

final thoughts: I actually really liked these; I love how pigmented they are, but they’re creamy without actually being creamy.  They have the feel, glide, and finish of creamier formulas, but there is very little slip and very little product is on the lips, giving a rather featherweight feel.  These colors do not have a full matte finish, but they still wear well–no clinging or seeping into lip lines.

where to buy: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick
MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “light warm beige.” It’s a peach-tinged pale beige-nude with an amplified finish. The amplified finish gives is a creamier consistency, more color pigmentation, and a semi-matte finish. I did find this shade a little on the drier side, so I would recommend prepping lips accordingly (keep the moisturized, exfoliate prior).

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, but with lighter shades like Viva Glam Gaga 2, I expect around four.

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

final thoughts: The warm undertones are very slight and subtle; they’re not overwhelming, so this nude will still work on cooler skin tones. It’s like a peach version of Creme d’Nude; lighter version of Peachstock. I wish it was more forgiving on lips–perhaps less dry–because it tends to show imperfections on the lips.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Cle de Peau Calliope (T4) Extra Rich Lipstick
Cle de Peau Calliope (T4) Extra Rich Lipstick

Cle de Peau Extra Rich Lipstick: Calliope

Cle de Peau Calliope (T4) Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a peach nude with a creamy finish and soft champagne micro-shimmer. The finish has a slightly glossy look but not too much shine. Extra Rich Lipsticks have a faceted lipstick, with more defined edges, which does allow for crisper lines.  This is a suitable nude for warmer skin tones, especially for those who find that nudes too often wash them out.

my thoughts on the formula: The color applies opaque in a single pass with a smooth, even finish. Extra Rich Lipsticks are absolutely a luxury item; they are pure decadence. The texture is incredibly smooth and creamy without being slippery or heavy. It imparts a nice level of moisture on lips and never feels drying. The formula also de-emphasizes lip lines after about fifteen minutes of wear. I get between four and six hours of wear.

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

final thoughts: Cle de Peau is absolutely a luxury brand, and it is most certainly not masquerading as anything else. This is a brand and product that will not appeal to everyone and isn’t meant to, which I think is important to remember. If budget isn’t a concern, I have always really enjoyed Cle de Peau’s formulas and shade range. It is better to invest in a color you will wear everyday with joy than two shades that you are only so-so.

where to buy: Saks

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick: Guava (1), Old Hollywood (2), Sweet Nectar (6), Soft Coral (7), Bikini Pink (8)

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color: Part 1

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color SPF 12 ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) are new lipstick formula for spring (and being added to the permanent range). The line consists of twelve shades, and this review features five of those. According to Bobbi Brown, these are “lightweight, yet intense” and have “a clear base to deliver pure, crisp color with just one swipe.” The formula is also “creamy and moisturizing.” These shades are officially described as: Guava (bright pink coral), Old Hollywood (bright cherry red), Sweet Nectar (coral pink), Soft Coral (pale peach), and Bikini Pink (soft white pink).

I’ve road tested three shades from the line-up specifically for wear: Bikini Pink, Soft Coral, Old Hollywood. The idea is to test for wear and to do so with shades with different intensities. Bikini Pink is the lightest, while Soft Coral lies in the middle, and Old Hollywood, being a red, was likely to last the longest. The lighter colors inevitably fade/last less than deeper shades, as deeper shades often stain, which is why I try to test from both ends of a spectrum when it comes to a new lipstick formula.

  • Guava is a deep pink-coral-red with a hint of orange. It’s bright without being neon. It is slightly less orange than Illamasqua’s Mistress. It is darker than Laura Mercier’s Tangerine. It is more intense and deeper than MAC Crosswires.
  • Old Hollywood is a bright, rich cherry red with a blue-base. It is similar to Guerlain Greta, MAC Russian Red (but it’s not as bright), and Rimmel Alarm (it is darker).
  • Sweet Nectar is a medium-dark pink coral. It is richer and a little brighter than MAC See Sheer, slightly more orange-based than Milani Bora Bora.
  • Soft Coral is a softened orange; more orange than coral. It is more orange than MAC Ravishing, but it is less coral than MAC Vegas Volt.
  • Bikini Pink is a soft, light-medium pink with subtle yellow undertones. It is a few shades lighter than Cle de Peau #106, not as pink as MAC Angel nor as light as MAC Hue, but it is similar to MAC Overtime.

my thoughts on the formula: These are really comfortable to wear,with their semi-matte finishes, creamy but lightweight texture, and rich color coverage.  Every shade was opaque and needed very little product to achieve full color coverage.  They are also scent- and taste-free, which should appeal to some.  Wear was anywhere from four to six hours, with deeper shades like Old Hollywood lasting a full six and beginning to fade after that.  Lighter shades hung on for about four hours.

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

final thoughts: I actually really liked these; I love how pigmented they are, but they’re creamy without actually being creamy.  They have the feel, glide, and finish of creamier formulas, but there is very little slip and very little product is on the lips, giving a rather featherweight feel.  These colors do not have a full matte finish, but they still wear well–no clinging or seeping into lip lines.

where to buy: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

NARS Tzigane Lipstick
NARS Tzigane Lipstick

NARS Spring 2011: Tzigane

NARS Tzigane Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sheer, pink brandy” that gives “a whisper of subtle color to the lips.” The name was inspired by Maurice Ravel, a French composer, and it translates to “gypsy.” I can get down with the “pink brandy” descriptor, actually. I would describe it as a lightened, rosy brown with a subtle peachiness. It has a subtle shine but nothing glossy or over-the-top. While described as sheer, I found it surprisingly pigmented–I would say semi-opaque rather than semi-sheer.

my thoughts on the formula: NARS Lipstick typically wears four to six hours, with a shade like this lasting just under four. It has a creamier texture that’s moisturizing, and this particular shade is more opaque (some shades can be quite sheer). I didn’t notice any waxy scent, as NARS lipsticks are typically unscented but the scent of the waxy base sometimes come through.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: I recommend this for both cool and warm undretones; I think it works well with both. Despite being described as sheer, I found it rather opaque, so while the color is more muted, it may be too dark for a really bold or dramatic eye. It should work nicely everyday to semi-dramatic looks, and it will pair best with neutrals, bronzes, and berries.

where to buy: NARS

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