Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Giorgio Armani #401 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00) is the newest long-wear lipstick formula from Armani, only recently released last month. The new formula is available in eighteen shades, ranging from beiges to pinks to reds to browns. According to Giorgio Armani, Rouge d’Armani is designed to be a hydrating, long-wearing lipstick that lasts for “up to eight hours without fading or feathering,” as well as give lips “continuous hydration” for up to six hours.

I tested out #401, which is an orange-based red and made famous by songstress Rihanna. The lipstick feels like a dream when you first apply it – it’s lightweight, creamy, and the color is fairly opaque. I did find that it feathered/bled a bit when my lips were more on the drier side (a terrible side-effect of getting over a flu!) and less so when my lips were more naturally hydrated. I’d basically say if you have drier lips, you’ll still need a liner to keep your red looking pristine, but if you have lips less prone to feathering, you may be able to skip that step with this formula.

The color does wear well and begins to fade after about five or six hours, or faster if I’m eating/drinking. It’s a long-wearing lipstick formula for sure, but I didn’t find it made it through a meal intact. I was able to drink a bit with minimal fading, though. Like most reds, when it does fade away, it leaves a slight reddish stain behind, which is always nice, because you don’t have to feel like you have to reapply right that very second.

The packaging is sleek and classy – all black with a magnetic clasp (so you’ll hear a “click” when it closes) and a slightly raised logo where the cap and lipstick meet. The price is a bit steeper than other Armani lipsticks (like ArmaniSilk, which is $25), but it does offer stellar color and wear-time.

Bottom Line: I’m definitely going to stop by my Giorgio Armani counter next time I’m at Nordstrom, so I can see if any of the other colors appeal to me. #401 is a bit too orange for my personal preference, so the first shade I want to see in person is #400!

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

Recommendation: If you like creamy, hydrating lipsticks with full-color pigmentation, Rouge d’Armani may be the one for you!

Availability: Nordstrom

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

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Saturday, October 24th, 2009


Guerlain Gala Rouge G Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: Guerlain Gala Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Gala Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a stunning shade of blue-based red. It’s a vibrant shade of rich ruby red with soft ruby red shimmer and sparkle. It’s creamy, opaque in just one layer, and wears well on my lips (I get about five or six hours of wear). The subtle shimmer is lovely, a nice way to accent a slightly glossy, but very rich red. It should be worn with a lip liner (clear or matching), though, to give lips a more defined and precise look. This is probably one of my favorite shades of Rouge G lipsticks, actually!

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

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Tuesday, October 20th, 2009


Guerlain Gemma Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick

Guerlain Gemma Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a dazzling confection of medium pink with a golden glimmer. It applies opaque in one to two layers, and it looks natural yet still more color pop than a my-lips-but-better (MLBB) shade. I’m really a big fan of how smoothly and evenly the Rouge Gs apply, and Gemma is no exception. I think this color is universally flattering, because it’s a nice, neutral medium pink. The gold shimmer adds a little oomph to the color, too. This is a shade you could wear year-round, so this is definitely going to make its way into my everyday lip color stash.

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: This is one of my favorite shades that I’ve seen from the Rouge G lineup — it’s a very pretty in pink shade with just the right amount of shimmer.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Sunday, October 18th, 2009


Guerlain Gipsy Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is like a summer orange-based coral. It has just the slightest hint of pinkness to it to keep it from being overwhelmingly orange, but it still packs quite an orange punch. When I saw it in the tube, I wasn’t sure it would work, since it seems so orange-tastic, but on lips, it’s more subdued and wearable.

It’s like an orange-coral base color with orange-copper shimmer. It applies opaque in about one layer or so, and it wears well through the day (about four or five hours of wear-time). Like all Rouge Gs, the shimmer is fantastic — subtle, soft, but utterly dazzling. I think it’s ruby dust or something fancy like that, but it’s lovely. Personally, I’d love it if there was more pinkk to it, to make it more of a true coral, since orange and I don’t always get along well!

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Not my first choice in the Rouge G shade line-up, but if you like orange-based lipsticks, this shade may be more up your alley than mine.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Possessed by Pink! Lip Kit

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Lip Kits

I cannot tell a lie: I hate lip palettes with a passion. There are many reasons why I passionately dislike lip palettes, and lest you be swayed by packaging and pretty shades, I’ll enumerate my top three for you.

1. They’re messy. If you even think about sticking your finger into the palette, you’re going to get a messy, germ-tastic palette.
2. They’re never as pigmented as a regular gloss/lipstick. Lip palettes always feel like pale imitations of the real thing.
3. They’re a pain in the butt to use. To keep it clean, you need to use a lip brush every time, and I consider that a pain. I also consider the little lip brush they include a pain in the butt to use, because the handle is so tiny, it’s difficult to hold (at least in my hands).

Possessed By Pink! Lip Kit ($22.50 U.S.)

  • Sweet Smile is a sheer, rosy-pink gloss confection. It has a lot of multicolored shimmer.
  • Laugh A Lot is a sheer medium rosy pink with a glossy sheen and not much shimmer.
  • Tickled is a dark, plummy brown with a glossy sheen.

Heavenly Dish Neutral Lip Kit ($22.00 U.S.)

  • Barely Visible is a sheer, glossy nude with lighter gold shimmer.
  • Heavenly Dish is a sheer, pale, light pink with a glossy finish.
  • Floating Lightly is a sheer dirty brown-beige with a glossy sheen.

I would never purchase these lip palettes if it wasn’t to review for the blog. I wholeheartedly don’t recommend purchasing them. On occasion, MAC will put one or two stunning shades into their lip palettes, and I, inevitably, cave, but this year is a total miss. Skip the palettes. If you want a deal, buy one of the lip bags instead. Or just buy one or two lipsticks/glosses you really like instead. At least MAC only put out two kits this year, as opposed to the three or four they normally launch.

I know there are some of you who love lip palettes, so if that’s you… take my review with a grain of salt. :)

  • Product: 20/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 2/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

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Thursday, October 15th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Lipsticks: Total Wow!, Madly Creative, Utter Fun, Surprise Me

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Lipsticks

Four shades of lipsticks debuted with MAC’s holiday color collection, with one being permanent (Pervette). Personally, I was really hoping to see another amazing holiday red from MAC this season, but I wasn’t so lucky. (Note: again, I hope to have lip swatches up tomorrow or over the weekend.)

  • Total Wow! is a semi-opaque berried-pink with gold shimmer. It reminded me of Stark Naked blush, actually, but (obviously) in lipstick form.
  • Utter Fun is a blue-based deep pink. It looks awfully red in the tube, but it swatched completely pink on my arm. I imagine if you have a lot of natural redness to your lip color, this will turn out a bit more red than pink on you, though. It’s creamy and mostly opaque, so those are pluses.
  • Surprise Me is a peachy-brown neutral with soft golden shimmer and a slight sheen. It’s an interesting color, but it doesn’t wow me. It doesn’t really say holiday to me, either.

Even though none of the shades really blew me away, I did really like the idea of a Stark Naked blush-turned-lip color, so Total Wow! is a must on my list.

Edited:  Sorry about the mix-up… when I was in-store, the artist told me Madly Creative and it didn’t occur to me to double-check!  I think I have Pervette in my stash, so I’ll swatch that when I do lip swatches.

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

See swatchesContinue reading →

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