Monday, January 31st, 2011

Shiseido Tawny (BR 735) Lipstick
Shiseido Tawny (BR 735) Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Shiseido Tawny (BR 735) Lipstick

Shiseido Tawny (BR 735) Perfect Rouge Lipstick ($25.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a warmed up caramel brown with a hint of coral. It’s semi-opaque and finishes with a noticeable glossiness.  I have always felt that Shiseido’s Perfect Rouge is rather under-appreciated, because it is such a flattering formula.

my thoughts on the formula: It’s moisturizing and applies evenly, while it wears for about four hours before beginning to fade. It is also scent- and taste-free. Perfect Rouge has a really beautiful color range and ranges from semi-opaque to opaque in color. The finish is a semi-gloss with very subtle micro-shimmer.

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

final thoughts: This is a beautiful shade for warmer skin tones; it is a color that works alone or paired with a brighter eye/cheek.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Monday, January 31st, 2011

NYX Espresso Lipstick
NYX Espresso Lipstick

The Sultry Season: NYX Espresso Lipstick

NYX Espresso Lipstick ($4.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a muted red-toned berry with a creamy feel and semi-glossy finish.  The color applies evenly and opaquely with very little product, and it feels comfortable to wear.

my thoughts on the formula: NYX Round Lipsticks are really creamy and generally opaque in color. The texture and shade range are great. However, the scent of them can run from waxy to synthetic sweetness (neither are particularly pleasant)–and sometimes they smell like nothing at all. I typically get two to three hours of wear.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This shade works well on both cooler and warmer skin tones, but it is particularly lovely on cool, pale skin.

where to buy: NYX

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Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Smashbox Endless Kiss Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss
Smashbox Endless Kiss Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss

Smashbox Spring 2011: Endless Kiss

Smashbox In Bloom Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a pale coral-nude with subtle gold shimmer. On lips, it’s virtually colorless, while it does add a glossy shine. This is a new and limited edition shade from Smashbox’s spring collection. This gloss has an angled doe-foot applicator that’s thin and pointed, which makes it easier to maneuver on thinner lips.

my thoughts on the formula: It’s a thicker, nearly non-sticky but it has this faint tackiness, along with a subtle, spiced vanilla scent. I have not found the majority of the range to have much pigmentation, so the differences between each gloss is minimal. They last four hours on me, which is shy of the six they’re proposed to last. My concern with these glosses in the amount you get — a mere 0.10 oz. Most glosses are more like 0.20 oz.  They do have SPF 15 in them, which is a nice touch.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: From what I’ve read and seen, these are not meant to deliver a lot of color but are more about high shine with longer-lasting results.

where to buy: Sephora

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Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Make Up For Ever #4 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick
Make Up For Ever #4 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick

Digging for Antiques with Make Up For Ever

Make Up For Ever #4 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a dusty pink with a matte finish. It’s opaque in color, and it wears really long and well (over five hours). It’s actually described as a “matte antique pink,” and I can kind of see where they get that, but there’s just this peeking of coral through the pink that I can’t ignore.

my thoughts on the formula: The Rouge Artist Intense formula is typically opaque, and while it’s not a moisturizing lipstick, it’s not a drying one either, though it does not feel creamy against the lips (it may take a little more pressure to apply than your average lipstick). With lighter shades, I see four hours of wear, but with darker shades, I get around five to six hours of wear.

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

final thoughts: This is a flattering shade on a variety of skin tones, from light to dark, cool to warm. The color coverage is excellent, so it should work well on those with more pigmented lips, too. It is also one of the less clingy shades from the Rouge Artist Intense range.

where to buy: Sephora

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Lipglasses
MAC Wonder Woman Lipglasses: Athena’s Kiss, Emancipation, Secret Identity, Wonder Woman

MAC Wonder Woman: Lipglasses

MAC WONDER WOMAN LIPGLASS ($19.50 for 0.37 oz.) include four shades: Athena’s Kiss (bright blue fuchsia), Emancipation (pale neutral pink), Secret Identity (mid-tone copper with soft pearl), and Wonder Woman (bright red with soft pearl). All four shades are new and limited edition.

  • Athena’s Kiss is a semi-opaque cool-toned fuchsia pink with white and fuchsia shimmer. It is more pigmented than Electric Fuchsia. It’s a touch darker and less creamy than True Babe.
  • Emancipation is a semi-sheer, champagne-shimmered pale beige. It is similar to Feeling Dreamy, Runway Fave, more pigmented Bare Necessities.
  • Secret Identity is a semi-sheer rusted orange with lighter orange shimmer. It applies rather unevenly, though. It’s a darker version of Kumquat.
  • Wonder Woman is a semi-opaque true red with gold shimmer. I really, really wanted to love this, but it applied a little unevenly and didn’t look as opaque on my lips as it did when swatched. It is less blue-based compared to Wicked Ways. It is also similar to Venetian, though more pigmented.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipglasses are vanlla-scented, and they are typically thick and sticky. However, because of their tackiness, they do tend to wear better and longer (four hours for me). The Wonder Woman Lipglasses feel pretty thick, but they seem slightly less tacky than is the norm.

These are jumbo-sized, and for the extra $4-5 on the price tag (lipglass is normally $14.50, but with the special packaging, they would be $15.50), you are getting over double the amount in a regular lipglass (0.17 oz.). In essence, you are paying $52.70/oz. instead of $85.29/oz.

I did have trouble with these over-sized lipglasses, though.  Every time I went to pull out the applicator, a dollop of gloss would find its way on my desk, pants, or carpet.  Even when I gently and slowly pulled out the wand, it still occurred.  The fit is rather tight, so I suppose when you pull out the wand, the gloss has to go somewhere…

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

final thoughts: Emancipation and Wonder Woman should suit many skin tones from light to dark, cool to warm. Athena’s Kiss is workable on most, but it does complement cooler complexions more. Secret Identity is most suitable to warmer skin tones, because of the orange.  If you have thin lips, you probably won’t find the over-sized applicator so fun.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Lipsticks
MAC Wonder Woman Lipsticks

MAC Wonder Woman: Lipsticks

MAC WONDER WOMAN LIPSTICK ($15.50 for 0.10 oz.) include four shades: Heroine (brown bronze), Marquise d’ (sandy cream peach), Russian Red (intense blue red), and Spitfire (bright creamy magenta).

  • Heroine is a rich, molten bronzed brown with a metallic sheen. It is nearly opaque in color, though not quite. This is a frost finish. It seems like a less red version of Strength.
  • Marquise d’ is a semi-sheer pinky-nude with soft champagne sheen. This is a lustre finish, and it is a repromote. It’s a little like Shy Girl, though lighter and sheerer.
  • Russian Red is a rich, creamy blue-based red. This is a matte finish and part of the permanent range. This is not one of MAC’s drying mattes, though!
  • Spitfire is a dark pink with magenta. This is a satin finish. It is pinker than Style Curve, pinker and less bright than Petals & Peacocks, similar to Smashbox Flirty.  Anyone else think it’s a little muted for something named Spitfire?

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. I typically get four hours of wear, but some of the lighter lustre and glaze finishes tend to disappear by hour three. Amplified cremes and amplified finishes, however, tend to go beyond four. I find the formula comfortable to wear and not drying (but not moisturizing–a couple of the matte shades can be drying).

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

final thoughts: Heroine will suit warmer complexions slightly better than cooler ones, while the other three are wearable by both cool and warm skin tones. Russian Red looks stunning on light to dark and cool to warm. Keep in mind, Russian Red is permanent, so you can save $1 by buying it in regular packaging. Spitfire is rather dupeable as MAC has put out several pinky-purple shades in the past six months.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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