Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009


Benefit Lipsticks: Fame Game, Label Lover, No Competition, Breakup Rumor

Benefit Full Finish Lipsticks: Review, Photos, Swatches

Benefit Full Finish Lipstick ($18.00 for .10 oz.) are slim lipsticks available in fourteen different shades and two finishes (cream and pearl). Today, let’s look at four shades — Fame Game, Label Lover, No Competition, Breakup Rumor.

  • Fame Game is a soft frosty pink with silvery-white shimmer. It’s opaque and has a pearl finish.
  • Label Lover is a bronzy, russet rose kind of color with a gold-bronze shimmer and pearl finish. It goes on semi-opaque on lips.
  • No Competition is a creamy, opaque muted berry that is dark and bold, but not overly so.
  • Breakup Rumor is a shimming rosy plum with gold and rose shimmer and pearl finish. It applies mostly opaque on lips.

Benefit’s Full Finish Lipsticks are mostly opaque to opaque in color, feel creamy, and don’t leave lips dried out while you’re wearing them. They wear well (I get about six hours of wear-time with minimal drinking/light eating), too, which is always a plus. I love the shade range Benefit has, because I feel like they offer a good mix of shades that flatter many skin tones. Their pearl finishes aren’t drying in the least, as some frost-finish lipsticks often can be. I love all four of these shades, though I love the way Breakup Rumor shimmers.

The packaging is slim and compact, and it looks sleek in an all slightly shiny all-black case with Benefit’s logo wrapping around it in white. The value is so-so; it comes in as slightly more expensive (by the ounce) than Urban Decay and MAC, but it’s still less than brands like NARS and Dior.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you love more opaque lip colors, these lipsticks are a great place to start your search!

Availability: Benefit

See more photos, swatches, and lip swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, September 21st, 2009


MAC Midnight Media Mattene

MAC Style Black: Lipstick/Mattene Review, Swatches, Lip Swatches

MAC Style Black is a deep, dark collection with the rich tones of black as inspiration.  Included in the launch that’ll hit stores on the 24th are two mattenes, Midnight Media and Night Violet, as well as one lipstick in Black Knight.

Mattenes

  • Midnight Media is a near-black, creamy semi-matte lip color that goes on semi-opaque.  It’s a red-toned or burgundy-toned black.  It appears mostly black on lips, but there’s a bit of a burgundy punch that keeps it from going monotone.  I don’t recommend applying this without a lip brush — it is not forgiving!  (My lip swatch is evidence of thus.)
  • Night Violet is a burgundy-wine shade with a creamy, semi-matte finish and goes on mostly opaque.  It doesn’t bleed nearly as much as Midnight Media and is much more forgiving when you apply it directly from the tube.

Lipstick

  • Black Knight is a slightly creamy, monotone black with a glossy sheen.  It’s a cremesheen finish, which can be drying at times, but this one didn’t feel that way to me.  I had a terrible time getting this to apply even remotely evenly.  Up close (as in the lip swatch), every flaw is enhanced.  I assure you it looked relatively even in the mirror.   I’d probably pass on this and just use Bat CCB on my lips (but I gotta double-check the safety on that).

Out of the three, Night Violet is the most wearable, and then Midnight Media is more wearable than Black Knight, because it has that reddish tone to it.  I don’t personally love any of the three, but I do like Night Violet enough to own.  If you don’t have any black lipstick, Midnight Media isn’t a bad way to go.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you love yourself dark and vampy lip color… this is for you!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

See more photos, swatches, and lip swatchesContinue reading →

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

MAC Lipsticks: Hipster, Red Full Stop, Faultlessly F/W, Our Pick

MAC Trend F/W ’09 Collection Review: Lipsticks

MAC Trend F/W Collection launches in-store today across North America locations, and the collection includes four lipsticks, three lipglasses, an eyeshadow quad, and a fragrance.

Lipstick

  • Hipster is a burgundy-berry with a hint of red shimmer laced through it that comes off as very holiday-esque. It is a frost finish lipstick, and it has been out previously (though I didn’t have it). It applies fairly evenly (though not super creamy–felt a little dry) and goes on opaque. This is kind of the same family as Odyssey.
  • Red Full-Stop is a glossy coral-pink with no shimmer but lots of shine. It is a lustre finish, but it is one of the most opaque lustre lipsticks I’ve ever seen. This shade reminded me of Fusion (PRO) or Eager (which may run a little pinker).
  • Faultlessly F/W is a deep, dark purple berry with cool-tones and just a pinch of red in the undertones. It has an amplified creme finish, and it applies opaque. It should be worn with a lip liner, as the creaminess tends to make this one have a propensity to bleed. It’s similar to Cyber, though not the same (but I haven’t swatched Cyber in awhile).
  • Our Pick is a light coffee brown shade with a creamy texture, no real shimmer, and a satin finish. This is not a shade I can wear alone, and even mixed with others, requires some planning and experimenting. I’d say this is in the family of Spirit and Mocha, but it feels a bit cool.

While none of the colors struck me as immediate, must-have colors for my fall makeup wardrobe, all four were different enough from previous launches and had good color pay off — even the lustre. I think Fautlessly F/W is an interesting shade, but it is also a shade that requires confidence to pull off; it’s very, very vampy and dark and everything the fall trend of dark lips is. Hipster would make a lovely holiday lip, and I could see it being even lovelier when layered with a red shimmered gloss to help bring out the redness in it.

Red Full-Stop is like a toned-down version of Fusion (PRO) or Eager. I thought Eager was permanent, but after checking, looks like it’s not. See Sheer or Vegas Volt are both similar, but they both run a bit more orange. Our Pick just looks terrible on me–it’s like a darker concealer on my lips–but layered with other shades, it’s more wearable, but not a favorite for me. I am sure it will work well on others, though!

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: None are really must-haves in my book; I think Hipster makes a greaty holiday shade, and I like the coral tone of Red Full-Stop (why call it red?) the most out of the four.

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

See more photos, swatches, and lip swatchesContinue reading →

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Borghese Lipstick

Fall Trend: Bold Lips with Borghese

Borghese Grappa B Moisture Advanced Care Lipcolour ($24.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a creamy berry red wine with a soft sheen and high color. It is a creme finish, which accounts for how easily it glides over lips. It’s full color and very hydrating on lips and lasts me about five hours without eating/drinking. The color can bleed if your lips have this tendency already, so I do recommend a lip liner for best wear.

The packaging is a combination of black and silver metal, with the black portion kind of looking like a licorice twist, actually. I don’t love the packaging, but it’s functional and does the job. While the price is steep, you do get more lipstick for your dollar than usual, as the average lipstick size is about 0.12 oz. By the ounce, this lipstick is just a bit more expensive than MAC and Illamasqua, but cheaper than Urban Decay and NARS.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation:  If creamy, full color lipsticks are your passion, Borghese’s lipsticks are worth a peek!

Availability: Borghese.com

See more swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, September 7th, 2009

L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick
Spicy Pink, Robust Raisin, Captivating Copper, Naturally Nude

L’Oreal Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipstick: Robust Raisin, Captivating Copper, Naturally Nude

L’Oreal Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipstick ($9.99) is a newly released lipstick formula from L’Oreal — similar to the orignial Color Riche line, but with an Anti-Aging Serum core. If you notice, there’s a small teardrop of “Anti-Aging Serum” that runs through the middle of the lipstick. These are designed to help improve the look of lips, including minimizing fine lines. The way the product does this is mostly by acting as a lip plumping lipstick thereby minimizing any lines.

This post features four shades:

  • Robust Raisin (#706) is a browned-down raspberry-wine shade with more of a glossy sheen than a frosty finish as is common with many of the other shades in this line.
  • Captivating Copper (#802) is a sheer brownish-nude that goes on glossy and doesn’t appear copper to me whatsoever on lips.
  • Naturally Nude (#803) is a coralish nude that goes on semi-sheer but still opaque enough to deliver color on my lips once applied. It has a slightly glossy sheen that also has a frost finish.

As in part one, these are lightly creamy, semi-glossy/frosty in finish (depends on the shade), and they can be sheer to semi-opaque in color pay off. The same two issues apply as well: packaging feels cheap (just give me plastic, don’t try to psyche me out!) and the scent is a bad mix of lipstick and stale perfume.

Again, I know some dislike lip plumping products, so I’d recommend checking out the original Color Riche line if that describes you. There’s a slight tingle, but it disappears quickly and isn’t painful (as far as lip plumpers go). I think these are a good buy when you can catch ‘em on sale — otherwise $9.99 a pop is more than I’d spend at the drugstore.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 5/10

Recommendation: If you’re on a budget and are looking for non-drying lipsticks that give you decent color, L’Oreal’s new Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipsticks are a good choice!

Availability: Drugstore.com

See swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, September 7th, 2009

L'Oreal Color Riche Lipstick

L’Oreal Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipstick:  Pucker Up Pink, Peach Parfait, Compelling Coral, Spicy Pink

L’Oreal Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipstick ($9.99) is a newly released lipstick formula from L’Oreal — similar to the orignial Color Riche line, but with an Anti-Aging Serum core. If you notice, there’s a small teardrop of “Anti-Aging Serum” that runs through the middle of the lipstick. These are designed to help improve the look of lips, including minimizing fine lines. The way the product does this is mostly by acting as a lip plumping lipstick thereby minimizing any lines.

This post features four shades:

  • Pucker Up Pink (#102) is a neutral-cool raspberry pink with frosty shine that goes on fairly opaque.
  • Peach Parfait (#401) is an orange-y coral with a frosty shine that is semi-sheer when it’s actually applied. (It looks nowhere this bright on my lips–more like a peachy nude.)
  • Compelling Coral (#402) is a coral-pink with a frosty finish and goes mostly opaque.
  • Spicy Pink (#704) is a dark raspberry-pink with a soft sheen and a bit of frost in its finish. It goes on semi-opaque.

I haven’t tried the original Color Riche formula (at least not that I can recall), but this formula is soft and lightly creamy with decent color pay off. I find the average wear time is just about two hours (assuming no eating/drinking) before it’s faded away enough that it needs to be reapplied. In terms of colors, I liked Pucker Up Pink and Compelling Coral the most–I felt these shades flattered and delivered in terms of color. Peach Parfait was a bit misleading, going on much sheerer and paler than it appeared, and Spicy Pink wasn’t as dark as it looked in the tube as it was on lips.

I have two gripes: the packaging feels incredibly cheap. It has a metal look, but it’s either plastic or a very cheap metal–it’s extremely light and just feels cheap. The outside casing still holds fingerprints (always annoying). The scent of these lipsticks smells of stale perfume and a bit of the trademark scent of lipstick. It’s just not pleasing, and I’d love it more if L’Oreal would switch to something less cloying (like vanilla or whatever).

Also, if you dislike lip plumping products, you should opt for the regular Color Riche line, as these do have a slight tingle. The tingle is about a three on a ten point scale (with DuWop Lip Venom being a ten for me). These are best purchased when your local drugstore or mass retailer has these on sale for buy one, get one. I find $9.99 a bit steep otherwise.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 5/10

Recommendation: If you’re on a budget and are looking for non-drying lipsticks that give you decent color, L’Oreal’s new Color Riche Anti-Aging Serum Lipsticks are a good choice!

Availability: Drugstore.com

See swatchesContinue reading →