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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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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Monday, October 18th, 2010

Illamasqua Disciple Lipstick
Illamasqua Disciple Lipstick

Illamasqua Art of Darkness: Disciple

Illamasqua Disciple Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a deep navy blue with a near matte finish.  It’s pretty opaque, but it is a little dry, so it’s best applied with a lip brush.  Between the opacity and the more clinging nature of the formula, though, it’s incredibly long-wearing–yielding about six hours of wear for me.  Illamasqua’s lipsticks are also scent- and taste-free.

Most of probably wouldn’t wear this shade on the regular, but it’s always nice to have options, which is one of the fun parts about the Illamasqua brand. Disciple is surprisingly flattering even when worn on its own.  Normally, I’m not a huge fan of really dark lip colors on myself, but I kind of dug the way the blue worked with my skin tone here.   I also appreciate that it’s not a black-blue but a true navy blue on lips.

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Disciple

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Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Chanel Patchouli Rouge Coco Lipstick
Chanel Patchouli Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel Holiday 2010: Patchouli

Chanel Patchouli Rouge Coco Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a new and limited edition shade from the brand’s holiday collection.  Patchouli is a light semi-sheer coral with peach and gold shimmer–it’s also a little glossier than the average Rouge Coco and feels more moisturizing.  It seems to apply less evenly than some of the other shades in the range, but it makes for a really nice everyday color that pops on its own but still plays well with others.

Rouge Coco is a slightly drier formula, because most of the shades are frost finishes, but I don’t find it drying–it’s just not moisturizing.  It has a light vanilla-rose scent that’s rather faint but still detectable.  It doesn’t seem to linger, though.  On average, Rouge Cocos last four hours on me.

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

RECOMMENDATION: For those with warmer skin tones, I think this will be incredibly flattering.  It may be a bit orange-y on those with very cool toned skin, though.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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