Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale:  A Fabulous Fantasy Lip Kit
MAC Tartan Tale: A Fabulous Fantasy Lip Kit

MAC Tartan Tale: A Fabulous Fantasy Lip Kit

A Fabulous Fantasy Lip Kit ($22.50) is a trio of lip products, featuring one sheer lipglass and two lipsticks.  There’s a nice variety in the finishes, and they do seem to coordinate well–they are all a touch on the warm side, but not too warm.  Lip palettes tend to be a hate it or love it kind of product; either you love the utility and portability of them or find them impractical and frustrating.  I belong to the latter camp, so I’ve always leaned towards MAC’s Lip Bags during the holidays!

The lip palette includes: Heroic Tale (sparkle flesh tone), Imagine This (pinky beige), and Storybook Ending (raisin). All three shades are new and limited edition to this palette.

  • Heroic Tale is a shimmering bronzy nude with flecks of champagne and copper shimmer. It is a lipglass. It appears rather sheer on lips and looks glossy with shimmer in it but doesn’t change the lip color much, if at all. It’s a little lighter than Mad Cap and Sinnamon, but they have similar effects when worn.
  • Imagine This is a peach with an orange-brown tone with a creamy look to it. It is an amplified finish lipstick. This is very pigmented and looks opaque on lips. It’s a much more orange version of Peachstock, but it seems a bit darker than Ravishing.
  • Storybook Ending is a plum-tinged brown with gold micro-shimmer and a high-gloss shine. It is a lustre finish lipstick, so despite looking darker in the swatch, it applies very sheer. It imparts mostly a glow and light shine while adding some darkness to my natural lip color. It seems similar, but lighter, than Polished Up.

The palette contains one lipglass (0.03 oz.) and two lipsticks (0.09 oz.). A full-sized lipglass (0.17 oz.) retails for $14.50, while a full-sized lipstick (0.10 oz.) retails for $14.50. It also has a tiny 316SE brush. In this case, you’re getting $2.56 worth of lipglass and $13.05 worth of lipstick–so it’s just over $15 worth of product but the price tag is $22.50. Not such a hot deal in regards to quantity, but the other side of the coin is you get to try three shades for $22.50 vs. $43.50.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a warmer lip palette, but the shades aren’t too warm — I think some of our cooler beauties could rock it, too.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters, Now online

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Monday, October 25th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag
MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag

MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag

Each year, MAC puts out a couple of lip products in specially designed/packaged bags, and this year is no different. The Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag ($36.00) includes Moth to Flame (sheer neutral beige; dazzleglass), Baron’s Rose (medium rose; lipstick), and Draw Me Close (dusty rose; lip pencil).

Both the lipstick and dazzleglass are full-sized, while the lip pencil is miniaturized (about half the size of regular lip pencils). The dazzleglass is permanent, while the other two are new and limited edition to this set. The lip products come with a tartan patterned bag that’s a little larger than my hand. It’ll certainly hold all of the products it comes with, along with a few more. The bag is the same for both lip sets.

  • Moth to Flame is a sheer peach with white shimmer. On my lips, it just brightens my natural lip color and adds glossiness. It’s part of the permanent line-up of dazzleglasses. As pretty as dazzleglasses are when worn, their quantity/price ratio really leaves something to be desired.
  • Baron’s Rose is a semi-sheer reddened berry with strong gold shimmer and sheen. It is a cremesheen finish lipstick. It’s extremely similar to Fun Bathing (from To the Beach) — Baron’s Rose is slightly redder/darker, but they are very, very close. It’s a lovely color, though.
  • Draw Me Close is a browned pink. It’d be great to use as a neutral lip liner.

Value-wise, the Lip Bag is okay but it’s not a showstopping deal. You’re getting a full-sized lipstick ($14.50), full-sized dazzleglass ($18.00), and a half-sized lip pencil ($7.00), which is a total value of $39.50. If you include the bag, then you’ll feel like you’re getting a bit more for your money.

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: It’s a real shame that Baron’s Rose has several similar pre-existing shades, because it’s a gorgeous shade. Festive but still perfect for autumn!

AVAILABILITY: MAC Counters/Stores on October 28th

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Monday, October 25th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Vain & Glorious Lip Bag
MAC Tartan Tale: Vain & Glorious Lip Bag

MAC Tartan Tale: Vain & Glorious Lip Bag

Each year, MAC puts out a couple of lip products in specially designed/packaged bags, and this year is no different. The Vain & Glorious Lip Bag ($36.00) includes Baby Sparks (sparkly baby pink; dazzleglass), Mellow Mood (sheer pink; lipstick), and In Synch (light pink; lip pencil).

Both the lipstick and dazzleglass are full-sized, while the lip pencil is miniaturized (about half the size of regular lip pencils). None of the products in the kit are new; Baby Sparks is permanent, while Mellow Mood and In Synch are both repromotes.

The lip products come with a tartan patterned bag that’s a little larger than my hand. It’ll certainly hold all of the products it comes with, along with a few more. The bag is the same for both lip sets.  It seems well-made to me; it definitely doesn’t look or feel cheap just by handling it.  If tartan is your thing, cool–if it’s not, well, pass it on to a friend.

  • Baby Sparks is a sheer, milky baby pink with icy pink shimmer. On my l ips, it just lightens up my natural lip color a bit and adds a lot of glossiness. It’s part of the permanent line-up of dazzleglasses. As pretty as dazzleglasses are when worn, their quantity/price ratio really leaves something to be desired.
  • Mellow Mood is a semi-sheer softened pink with subtle gold shimmer. It’s a little milky, and it has a lustre finish. Since it’s not too cool, it works on both cooler and warmer skin tones. It was originally launched with Electroflash back in 2008.
  • In Synch is a coraled pink. It is a lip pencil, and it was originally launched with Too Fabulous earlier this year in the spring.

Value-wise, the Lip Bag is okay but it’s not a showstopping deal. You’re getting a full-sized lipstick ($14.50), full-sized dazzleglass ($18.00), and a half-sized lip pencil ($7.00), which is a total value of $39.50. If you include the bag, then you’ll feel like you’re getting a bit more for your money.

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: If you like pink lips, this is definitely your set. If you have really pigmented lips, this set might not do much for you, as both lipstick/dazzleglass are on the sheerer side.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Counters/Stores on October 28th

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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Guerlain Beatrix Rouge G Brilliant Lipstick
Guerlain Beatrix Rouge G Brilliant Lipstick

Pretty in Pink with Beatrix

Guerlain Beatrix Rouge G de Brilliant Lipstick ($46.00 for 0.10 oz.) is an ultra-wearable petal pink with yellow undertones and white micro-shimmer. It has a glossy finish like other Rouge G Brilliants, and the color itself is semi-opaque–there’s enough color that it’s noticeable but not opaque. If you have really pigmented lips, you may not get the same lightness I did in the photos.

The Rouge G Brilliant formula is like a lipstick and lip gloss hybrid in the way it looks and feels; it holds on and wears like a lipstick (three to five hours) but has the shininess of a lip gloss. It’s also moisturizing and doesn’t emphasize lip lines. Like the Rouge G lineup, though, these have a rosy-fruity scent to them.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a nice shade that’s very flattering across both cool and warm skin tones.  It’s not necessarily the most unique color available, but Beatrix is one you could wear everyday.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Amethyst Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Amethyst Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Evocative Beauty: Amethyst

Dolce & Gabbana Amethyst Classic Cream Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a semi-opaque, dark, reddened burgundy with a glossy finish.  It’s kind of like a cream, but there’s so much shine, describing it as a cream seems inadequate.  It’s very smooth and glides on effortlessly, but this is the kind of texture that can bleed more often than not.  I recommend using either a matching lip liner or a clear lip liner around the outer edge of the lip to help keep the lip color in its place.

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.

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

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a nice vampy shade for autumn–it’s bold, dark, but the glossiness keeps it a little lighthearted, too.

AVAILABILITY: Saks

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Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

NYX Purple Smokey Look Kit
NYX Purple Smokey Look Kit

More Purple Than You’ll Know What to Do With

NYX Purple Smokey Look Kit ($11.00 for 0.32 oz.) is an eye and lip palette; it contains nine eyeshadows and two lip colors. If you’re a fan of cool-toned, purple eyeshadows, this is a palette with your name on it! The palette includes: a smoked, blackened purple with violet sheen; brightened navy blue with a subtle sheen; softened fuchsia lilac with a satin sheen; light fuchsia pink with satin sheen; gray-tinged brown with cool undertones; pinked brown with sheen; softened violet with sheen; red-toned, medium purple with violet shimmer-sheen; and dusty brown. The lip shades included a pinky nude cream and a metallic bronze.

The majority of the eyeshadow shades were nicely pigmented, but three were on the sheerer side — the pink brown, softened violet, and dusty brown. The dusty brown was pretty pitiful for me; extremely sheer, almost chalky, and wasn’t working for me whatsoever. The other eight shades were much more workable, though, so it’s easy to forgive a palette of nine shades for only one bad apple. I liked that only a couple of the shades had a frostier finish, while the rest had a low satin sheen. Shimmers/satins are easier to blend but sometimes you can get too much of a good thing!

I didn’t like the lip colors very much–they’re a little sticky and the shades themselves don’t seem to fit with the palette. A metallic bronze lip is lovely, but I’m not so sure about pairing it with such cool purples. I wouldn’t grab this for the lip colors, but I do like that they’re in a separate pull-out drawer, which means they won’t get any cross-contamination from the powder eyeshadows. The included double-ended applicators aren’t anything to write home about; the bristled one is sparse and a little scratchy, while the sponge-tip is thin and a little scratchy.

The palette itself is housed in a square black palette, so it manages to look sleek and compact, and it would work really well for traveling. It’s a good palette overall, and for $11, it’s obviously a real gem!

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: The quality is good overall with just a couple of misses but enough hits to make it well worth the price.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

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