Friday, April 29th, 2011

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Summer 2011: Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “pink cantaloupe,” while the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil formula is all about “rich pigment” delivered via a “jumbo-sized crayon” that imparts a “velvet matte finish.” It’s supposed to be long-wearing without being drying, while still being creamy. This shade has been added to NARS’ permanent range.

I thought the color was closer to that of grapefruit, but I guess if cantaloupe was pink, it might look something like this (and then kind of like grapefruit, ha!). It’s a lightened pink with just a hint of coral. It looked more coral swatched than it did once I applied it to my lips, though.  It actually bears a lot of similarity to MAC Ever Hip, though ever-so-slightly paler and, obviously, the finish is different as Bolero is matte.

The finish is completely matte, and with the lightness of the color, there is a touch of settling into lip lines and emphasis on any imperfections of the natural lip but really quite little overall and not noticeable from a normal viewing distance (you know, not close-up!). It does have enough creaminess in the texture to easily apply it, smooth it out, and get a nice layer of even color, and the pigmentation is excellent–really dense, opaque color without having to wear the pencil down to a nub.

With some of the really deep shades of the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil line-up, I can see six to eight hours of wear, but with a lighter shade like Bolero, it wore just over four hours (which is slightly above average for a light color like this, where I normally see three to four). The length of wear was good and above average, but it’s not excellent. I did find Bolero a little drying by the fourth hour.

These aren’t your best bang for your buck lip product, considering you only get 0.086 oz. for $24–a NARS lipstick contains 0.12 oz. but also costs $24.00. They do apply color more precisely than a lipstick, because it has a more chiseled tip, but the cap is not as secure on this jumbo-sized lip pencil than it is on a lipstick–such a game of trade-offs! I didn’t find that the cap was easy to come off, but I do acknowledge it is less secure by its nature than lipstick.

The Glossover

LE
product

Bolero

B
If the wear was more on par with long-wearing lipsticks (including other shades within this range, which tend to be six to eight hours), the product would have rated higher. I think the color is one that will appeal to many, and it should work well on both cool and warmer skin tones, as the pink dominates over the coral, making it flattering on both.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

MAC Summer Shower Lipstick
MAC Summer Shower Lipstick

MAC Fashion Flower: Lipsticks

The collection features four shades of Lipstick (each $14.50 for 0.10 oz.) — Ever Hip (bright creamy coral), Growing Trend (mid-tone taupe nude), Mlle (light white pink), and Summer Shower (light aqua).

  • Ever Hip is a pink-based coral with a creamy, slightly glossy finish.  It’s semi-opaque to opaque on lips, depending on how much you layer it. It has a cremesheen finish.  MAC doesn’t have a comparable permanent dupe to it, unfortunately.
  • Growing Trend is a medium dark beige nude with a creamy finish.  It has an amplified finish.  It’s a shade or two darker than Viva Glam Gaga 2 and has less peach (this almost looks a touch pink next to it).
  • Mlle is a pale, blue-based light pink. It looks a little dry on lips (perhaps more like a frost finish, except it lacks the shimmer part of a frost), but it didn’t feel drying. It has a glaze finish, and it is a repromote–but from many, many years ago. It seems like a paler version of Pink Plaid, cooler version of Creme Cup. This would work best on cooler skin tones.
  • Summer Shower is very much a near-to-clear base with teal, fuchsia-purple, and white shimmer and sparkle. It’s more of layering lip product than one you’d wear on its own (in general). I can’t think of a permanent dupe for it. It has a glaze finish. This would work across skin tones.

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).

The Glossover

product

MAC Fashion Flower Lipstick Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B
Mlle doesn't look as flattering as worn as one would like--it has a drier look, even though the texture itself was smooth and applied evenly. Summer Shower looks fun in the tube but keep in mind it is more about the multi-colored reflective shimmer than the actual color!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, April 18th, 2011

Laura Mercier Sandcastle Lipstick
Laura Mercier Sandcastle Lipstick (left)

Laura Mercier Sandcastle Shimmer Lipstick

Laura Mercier Sandcastle Shimmer Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a pink-tinged peach beige with pale champagne micro-shimmer. It delivers opaque color, and it looks a bit creamy, though it doesn’t have a lot of slickness when applied. The color reminded me of Guerlain Giny Rouge G Lipstick, but it’s a touch pink (and yet, it’s also not pink enough to be like Guerlain Gillian).

Laura Mercier’s Shimmer Lipsticks have a rather strong floral scent to them, while several of her other lip products are heavily vanilla scented (not sure why these are different). I get three to four hours of wear (about average), and I find these neither drying nor particularly moisturizing, but they are comfortable to wear. Sandcastle applied evenly and easily without having to layer on a lot to get opaque color.

The Glossover

lauraMercierSandcastle

Laura Mercier Sandcastle Shimmer Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
It really captures a great balance of shimmer, creaminess, and color to make for a very flattering, easy-to-wear shade. It's not warm or cool but neutral, which will make it appealing across skin tones.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, April 17th, 2011

MAC Viva Glam VI Lipstick
MAC Viva Glam VI Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam VI Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam VI Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “warm terracotta-plum with pearl,” and it has a lustre finish. Lustre finishes have sheerer color coverage, and it is definitely true with Viva Glam VI. This is a very easy to wear color, because it’s incredibly neutral–not just in the color itself, which is a rosy terracotta, but it”s not too warm or cool. Like many of the other shades in the Viva Glam family, it is wearable across skin tones.

It wears just under three hours on me (I typically average four), and I find that lustre finished lipsticks are not moisturizing.   I also find that this particular finish doesn’t always apply evenly.  It is vanilla-scented, like other MAC lip products are, and the tube has metallic red detailing in the logo and inside the tube in the spirit of Viva Glam. 100% of the selling price of each Viva Glam lipstick goes towards the MAC AIDS Fund.

The Glossover

P
product

Viva Glam VI

B-
I wish lustre finishes were more moisturizing and applied more evenly. I find that because they do not last long, you are often left with random shimmer bits and bobs, while the color fades quickly.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Guerlain Cherry Blossom (161) Rouge Automatique
Guerlain Cherry Blossom (161) Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Cherry Blossom (161) Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Cherry Blossom (161) Rouge Automatique ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a semi-opaque rosy pink with subtle yellow undertones and soft pink shimmer. The finish is a soft frost, and I didn’t have any of the texture issues with Cherry Blossom that I had with Mitsouko.

Guerlain’s description of the Rouge Automatique line describes the color as non-opaque, light, and luminous, so while this may be on the sheerer side, it still seems in line with the range–it definitely gave a visible color difference when worn, but this shade seems to embody what Guerlain described as “luminous, clear and pure color.”  (Nothing in Guerlain’s description of the new formula would make me think these are rich, pigmented lipsticks.)

my thoughts on the formula: Rouge Automatique lipsticks tend to have a very creamy, smooth consistency without being thick (in fact, I’d describe them as thin). They glide on with ease, and the majority of shades seem to deposit semi-opaque to opaque color. Wear for darker shades ranges from six to eight hours, while light to medium shades from four to six hours. It’s an excellent alternative to the luxury Rouge G lipstick–the formulas are comparable (and certainly so with a $11 price difference!), while the packaging gives up the luxury heft of Rouge G, it makes up for in the practicality. It’s a creamy, moisturizing, long-wearing formula with the subtle nuances and finishes I expect from Guerlain.

The Glossover

P
product

Cherry Blossom

B+
It’s an excellent alternative to the luxury Rouge G lipstick–the formulas are comparable (and certainly so with a $11 price difference!), while the packaging gives up the luxury heft of Rouge G, it makes up for in the practicality. It’s a creamy, moisturizing, long-wearing formula with the subtle nuances and finishes I expect from Guerlain.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Guerlain Mitsouko (140) Rouge Automatique
Guerlain Mitsouko (140) Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Mitsouko (140) Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Mitsouko (140) Rouge Automatique ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a muted peach shimmered orange with hints of pink. It’s semi-sheer, which means that your natural lip color will play a larger role in the way the lipstick actually looks. On my lips, it looks like a soft, rosy coral with a frost finish. The orange hue seems to get lost when I wear it. I also felt that between sheer color and the frosted shimmer, the texture wasn’t as smooth; I could feel the shimmer particles when I pressed my lips together.

Guerlain’s description of the Rouge Automatique line describes the color as non-opaque, light, and luminous, so while this may be on the sheerer side, it still seems in line with the range–it definitely gave a visible color difference when worn, but this shade seems to embody what Guerlain described as “luminous, clear and pure color.”  (Nothing in Guerlain’s description of the new formula would make me think these are rich, pigmented lipsticks.)  I did feel I had to apply more than your average lipstick to get the color pay off as swatched, which is why it lost a couple of points.

my thoughts on the formula: Rouge Automatique lipsticks tend to have a very creamy, smooth consistency without being thick (in fact, I’d describe them as thin). They glide on with ease, and the majority of shades seem to deposit semi-opaque to opaque color. Mitsouko, however, is one of the sheerest shades I’ve tried (out of five!) and wear time is three to four hours. Wear for darker shades ranges from six to eight hours, while light to medium shades from four to six hours. It’s an excellent alternative to the luxury Rouge G lipstick–the formulas are comparable (and certainly so with a $11 price difference!), while the packaging gives up the luxury heft of Rouge G, it makes up for in the practicality. It’s a creamy, moisturizing, long-wearing formula with the subtle nuances and finishes I expect from Guerlain.

The Glossover

P
product

Mitsouko

C+
I've been like the the Rouge Automatique line quite a bit, and though I think this color is lovely (and very much a shade I personally gravitate towards), it isn't as smooth as some of the other shades I've tried. I think it's due to the frostier finish combined with the sheerer color that emphasizes that aspect.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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