Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Hourglass Scarlet Aura Lip Stain
Hourglass Scarlet Aura Lip Stain

Lasting Lip Stain with Hourglass

Hourglass Scarlet Aura Sheer Lip Stain ($26.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “soft plum.” The new Aura Sheer Lip Stain is a water-based lip stain that’s designed to create a sheer wash of color with a semi-matte finish. Scarlet is the darkest of the three shades launched. Over my natural lip color, it’s a deep, plummy, berry. It’s semi-opaque and has just a touch of sheen but it is mostly matte.

If you haven’t tried one before, lip stains require prep work–because they adhere to your lips, much of your natural lip is “exposed.” There is no gloss or creamy lipstick to hide behind, so any imperfections from your natural lips may show through with a lip stain. Scarlet is dark enough where it is a more forgiving lip stain, but drier lips will find this accentuates dryness, cracking, and peeling. I always exfoliate and then pat clear balm on my lips approximately 30 minutes prior to applying a lip stain. I tend to do this after my morning shower, and then I apply the stain after breakfast.

It’s loaded with color but not much else, so it isn’t going to provide long-lasting moisturization, which is why I like to prep with balm beforehand. It does take well to layering balm on top, though, so clear balm can be used to proivde moisture without disturbing the color.

I love the concept of lip stains but find it difficult to wear them, because they often apply unevenly. Hourglass applies beautifully–the color deposits well without settling into lip lines and has enough glide that it is easy to evenly distribute. It also lasts for hours and hours and does make it through drinking and eating. I get around eight hours of continuous wear–by ten, there is a little fading.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Hourglass Scarlet Aura Sheer Lip Stain Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
It's definitely one of the best lip stains I've tried since beauty blogging (about four and half years now) because it applies so evenly and easily.  It lasts for eight hours, doesn't settle into lip lines, and makes it through a meal.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Illamasqua Atomic Lipstick
Illamasqua Atomic Lipstick

Illamasqua Toxic Nature:  Atomic Lipstick

Illamasqua Atomic Lipstick (£15.50 for 0.14 oz.) is new for spring/summer and part of the brand’s Toxic Nature collection, which should show up at Sephora in April. For now, though, it is available through Illamasqua directly.  Illamasqua describes Atomic as a “fuchsia violet.”  After swatching and applying, Atomic is a deep, reddened fuchsia with violet and fuchsia sheen.  It has that satin finish but such a strong pull of iridescent sheen that it almost looks like a frost.

my thoughts on the formula: Illamasqua’s Lipstick formula feels a little dry when applied, but let it warm up on your lips, because it really isn’t the drying kind. It does hug the lips, though, which makes it a much longer wearing lipstick (six hours or more).

The Glossover

P
product

Atomic

A-
This is a shade that will wear for hours and hours.  With the semi-matte finish, it really hugs lips and stays put--I noted very few traces of lipstick on my coffee cup.  It may stain a bit, too, which will contribute to an overall appearance of longer wear.  Illamasqua's does a really nice job with the sheen level in this shade, because though it has a menagerie of near-dupes, the way it catches light makes it different enough in a spectacular way.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit
Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Neiman Marcus Exclusive: Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit ($95.00) is an exclusive set available at Neiman Marcus this spring. It contains a peony and python printed zippered makeup bag, Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, and two miniature-sized makeup brushes (face and lip).

  • Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer is a medium-dark pink with gold micro-glitter and sheen; it is slightly cool-toned, though it seems to shift between cool and neutral depending on how the light hits it. It applies rather sheerly but can be intensified for a more obvious blush.
  • Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss is an ultra sheer gloss that really has a clear base with pink and gold shimmer. This shade is available individually.
  • Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is a blackened burgundy brown. This shade is available individually.
  • Eye/Lip Brush is a miniature-sized brush with a glossy black cap that slips on and off. It’s not officially labeled, but it seems like a really narrow lip brush–not quite small enough to be a true eyeliner brush though it does seem to resemble the Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush a bit.
  • Face Brush is a fluffy, dome-shaped brush that resembles the Face Blender Brush. It seems wider and less tapered, though. It was soft against the skin.

The kit itself comes with a high price tag, but individually (though not all shades are available individually, the product type is), Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer would retail for $33, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss retails for $22, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is available for $21, and then assume $20 worth of brushes. The innards of the kit are worth approximately $96, but you also receive the printed makeup bag, too. There is a Peony & Python printed makeup bag available alone for $40, but I don’t know how the size compares to the one from the Neiman Marcus kit.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's a cute kit, and if you like every product in it, the price tag doesn't seem so difficult to pay.  If you were hoping for a value-packed deal, this isn't quite it.  The kit will complement cooler skin tones.  I wish the Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer was available individually!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, March 11th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Amethyst Lipgloss
Dolce & Gabbana Amethyst Lipgloss

Dolce & Gabbana Amethyst Lipgloss

Dolce & Gabbana Amethyst Lipgloss ($29.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a deepened burgundy berry with soft violet and burgundy micro-shimmer.  It’s semi-opaque with decent color pay off and definitely gives lips a darker, vampier look, but my natural lip color does peek through.  What I really liked about this gloss though was how despite the deeper color, it did not settle into lip lines.

my thoughts on the formula: Dolce & Gabbana Lip Glosses are moisturizing, and they fade really well when they wear away. With this particular shade, I was able to get a solid four hours of wear. These glosses are heavily rose-scented but don’t seem to have any taste. With just 0.13 oz. in a tube (compared to 0.20 oz. for other high-end brands like Chanel, Guerlain, and YSL), these are pricey.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Dolce & Gabbana Amethyst Lipgloss Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's pretty and should be flattering on both cool and warmer skin tones, though it will be particularly beautiful against pale, cool skin.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Vibrant Lipgloss
Dolce & Gabbana Vibrant Lipgloss

Dolce & Gabbana Vibrant Lipgloss

Dolce & Gabbana Vibrant (#143) Lipgloss ($29.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a rich shade of darkened fuchsia raspberry with iridescent fuchsia-purple micro-shimmer. It delivers nearly opaque color, and it doesn’t settle into lip lines. I love how it is a mix of pink, red, and berry.

my thoughts on the formula: Dolce & Gabbana Lip Glosses are moisturizing, and they fade really well when they wear away. With this particular shade, I was able to get a solid four hours of wear. These glosses are heavily rose-scented but don’t seem to have any taste. With just 0.13 oz. in a tube (compared to 0.20 oz. for other high-end brands like Chanel, Guerlain, and YSL), these are pricey.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Dolce & Gabbana Vibrant (#143) Lipgloss Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This is one of the best Dolce & Gabbana Lipglosses I've tried--wears a full four hours, doesn't sink into lip lines, and gives lips a really full, glossy look. If only they'd squeeze more than 0.13 oz. into a tube...

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Sara Happ The Lip Slip
Sara Happ The Lip Slip

Sara Happ The Lip Slip

Sara Happ The Lip Slip ($24.00 for 0.5 oz.) is an ultra rich potted lip balm that will wear as the day is long. Quite possibly one of the longest wearing balms I’ve come across, but also the stickiest product I have ever tried. It has a smooth, glide-on texture, but it is so very tacky. If you thought MAC Lipglass was tacky, you’re in for a surprise. The stickiness inevitably has a hand in how well and long this wears (overnight). Though it looks pink in the jar, it’s colorless with very faint micro-shimmer (that is more reflective than noticeable). Lip Slip smells like roses but doesn’t have a taste.

The outer packaging is adorable, and the bow is certainly a nice touch, but I don’t think the actual potted balm is as decadent as the outer packaging. It’s just a plastic screw-top jar that feels a little clunky when you screw it on. At $24, I would expect more elevated packaging–not just a pretty box.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Sara Happ The Lip Slip Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
As moisturizing as this balm is, the stickiness is too much for me. It works tremendously well but to me, the texture is too sticky, too thick. It's a pain to remove from cups, and I don't really like how my lips stick together every time I open my mouth to talk to someone. As a night time treatment, it is a lot more maneuverable, but I couldn't wear this during the day.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

Results
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