Monday, April 23rd, 2012

NARS Odalisque Larger Than Life Lipgloss
NARS Odalisque Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Odalisque Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Odalisque Larger Than Life Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) is described as “cantaloupe.” It’s a beige peach with a creamy, almost milky, finish. MAC Woo Me is pinker. MAC Super is browner, darker. MAC Lust is a bit darker. MAC Pretty Quick is warmer, peachier.

It’s in the nude family, but it’s very different from Spring Break. This is actually a more wearable nude because it is darker–less pastel, less pale. So while the color is lovely and a nude that suits a lot of skin tones, the way it looks and applies leaves something to be desired. Because of the creamy/milky finish, it settles into lip lines quite a bit, and there is some streakiness to the application.  I think this gloss is best worn over a lipstick than it is on its own, because it just doesn’t look that great alone.

This particular shade had a slightly thicker consistency, though still best described as gel-like, as it slides around and feels smooth. It develops a tackiness over time (non-sticky for the first half hour or less, then progressively stickier as it wears). Odalisque wore for four and a half hours. It’s scent- and taste-free.  The color coverage is semi-opaque, and it’s really the overall streaky feel that gives it that less-than-opaque look.  It is hydrating while worn, though, as my lips never feel like they’re in need of balm post-wear.

This lipgloss formula has a really small brush-type applicator, which I find to be too small–I’d have liked to have seen a smaller brush, sure, but I think it could have met in the middle, rather than going to the opposite extreme. The idea behind the smaller applicator was to make application more precise, which it does, but the trade-off is that it takes much, much longer to apply it. I can’t apply this gloss nearly as well without a mirror as I can with others, and I feel like I’m going back three to five times to get enough color to cover my lips.

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Odalisque

B+
While I'm not sold on the applicator (I think it's an interesting idea to go smaller, I just think they went too small--there's a happy medium to be achieved), I'm also not thrilled with the gloss itself. The settling, streaking, and milkiness work together to create a less appealing finish and result--the color doesn't look smooth and even. Such a shame, because the color itself would work well as a nude on many skin tones.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Friday, April 20th, 2012

Tom Ford Sugar Pink Ultra Shine Lipgloss
Tom Ford Sugar Pink Ultra Shine Lipgloss

Tom Ford Sugar Pink Ultra Shine Lipgloss ($45.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is a light-medium pink with yellow undertones and a creamy finish. It’s mostly opaque in color coverage, but there is some translucency. The closest dupe I could come up with is Bobbi Brown Pink Sorbet, which is also a yellow-toned pink, though it reads a little beige-like compared to Sugar Pink, and it has shimmer. MAC Curvaceous is plummier.  What makes it harder to dupe is the amount of color coverage it has–a lot of glosses are sheer to semi-sheer.

This formula is supposed to have a high-shine finish with good color payoff. The texture is very smooth and slick; it slides onto lips easily with a slight tackiness (but not what I would describe as a full-on sticky gloss). There is some settling into lip lines, which is less noticeable from a normal viewing distance but visible upclose. It has a sweet vanilla scent but no discernible taste. It’s neither drying nor overly hydrating, though I would err on the side of slightly moisturizing. It’s comfortable wear while it lasts, which in Sugar Pink’s case was three and a half hours. The glossy finish does stick around for most of the time, which is longer than some other glosses.

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Sugar Pink

B+

It's a good gloss, but it's not the best gloss on the market. It's nice to see that it lives up to most of its claims--it has a nice texture and the color payoff is pretty good. There is some unevenness in application and settling into lip lines.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Le Metier de Beaute Hibiskiss Sheer Brilliance Lipgloss
Le Metier de Beaute Hibiskiss Sheer Brilliance Lipgloss

Le Metier de Beaute Hibiskiss Sheer Brilliance Lipgloss

Le Metier de Beaute Hibiskiss Sheer Brilliance Lipgloss ($32.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a dark fuchsia red with subtle white shimmer and subtly cool blue undertones. The color coverage is semi-opaque–it yields a fair amount of color, but there’s still some translucency. Burberry Hibiscus is lighter, not as intense. NARS Mexican Rose is very similar but a bit brighter and more opaque. Lancome Electric Pink is a bit redder and has a lot more shimmer. MAC Just Add Colour is a bit lighter and has fuchsia shimmer.

Le Metier de Beaute’s Sheer Brilliance Lipgloss formula is a very comfortable, decadent formula to wear, because it has a lightweight feel, non-sticky texture, and feels moisturizing while you wear it and for a couple of hours after the majority has worn off. When I tested out this shade, it wore for four hours. It has a high shine that lasts for nearly as long as the color itself does, which isn’t always the case with a gloss. I didn’t notice any scent or taste with this formula.  Since this is a deeper shade, it will suit virtually every skin tone–the depth plays well with warm tones, despite the cooler undertones, and it will give high contrast against paler skin and plenty of color to work with darker complexions, too.

The Glossover

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Hibiskiss

A
Since this is a deeper shade, it will suit virtually every skin tone--the depth plays well with warm tones, despite the cooler undertones, and it will give high contrast against paler skin and plenty of color to work with darker complexions, too.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, April 19th, 2012

MAC Shy Girl Lipstick
MAC Shy Girl Lipstick

MAC Shy Girl Lipstick

MAC Shy Girl Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “creamy neutral coral beige” and has a Cremesheen finish. It’s a soft beige peach with a hint of pink. I’d say it’s coral in the very vaguest kind of way. It’s not really peach, nor is it beige, so coral may be the easiest way to describe it, but it doesn’t have quite enough pink in it for it to be a real coral-like shade. There is a soft white shimmer and reflective sheen to the finish.  It’s one of MAC’s top-selling shades, and I can see why; the color isn’t too warm, so it should easily flatter a range of skin tones. MAC Gotta Dash is brighter, lighter. YSL Tender Peach is more opaque and peachier, while YSL Peach Passion is pinker and more opaque. Illamasqua Brink is brighter, more orange. MAC Fashion City is more orange.

The Cremesheen finish is supposed to yield full color coverage with a “soft and supple shine.”  The color coverage is mostly opaque, though you can see a hint of my lip freckle peeking through.  It applies evenly and fairly easily, though I find Cremesheens to be drier than they are creamy.  I wouldn’t describe the texture as dry, but it does catch occasionally on the lip when I pull the angled tip across.  There are a lot of shades with this finish that I think are gorgeous, but this finish is noticeably drying on my lips–not the worst and certainly not like a really dry matte finish, but it is drying.  My lips always feel worse-for-the-wear after wearing one.  Shy Girl wears three and half hours on me.  MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented.

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MAC Shy Girl Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

B
It's one of MAC's top-selling shades, and I can see why; the color isn't too warm, so it should easily flatter a range of skin tones. If you have experience with the Cremesheen finish and don't find it drying, then it's worth checking out.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss
Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss

Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss

Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss ($7.49 for 0.18 fl. oz.) is described as a “hot pink with hot pink shimmer.” It’s a bright, vibrant, nearly-neon fuchsia pink with cool, blue undertones and a heavy dosage of lighter fuchsia shimmer. MAC Athena’s Kiss is a bit darker, not as neon. OCC Pageant isn’t as bright or as blue-based. The underlying base color is similar to MAC Quick Sizzle, which is a touch darker. The overall look is closer to MAC Pink Pigeon. MAC Show Orchid is a bit darker and more iridescent with less obvious shimmer.

Milani describes the formula as yielding full-color coverage with an extra glossy, non-tacky finish that won’t feather. It’s definitely rich in color–it’s opaque in one pass, and the finish is extremely shimmery and fairly glossy. The one characteristic I disagree on is the texture, because it’s incredibly sticky. It has a thicker consistency, so it’s not a lightweight formula, and the shimmer seemed to clump up in a few places. It feels very much like MAC Dare to Wear Lipglass, though. Swatched, it actually looks like it might be a potential dupe for Gimme That, but it’s very different–Gimme That is a rich fuchsia that goes on as more color and has less shimmer. Milani’s variation has much, much more shimmer. It also has a sweet vanilla scent.

Flashy wore for three and a half hours, and as it faded away, the texture of the shimmer was more noticeable on the lips, so it had a slightly gritty consistency after awhile.  The coverage is fantastic, though, and to get this really bright, neon pink in an opaque gloss isn’t always easy.

The Glossover

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Flashy

B+
Flashy wore for three and a half hours, and as it faded away, the texture of the shimmer was more noticeable on the lips, so it had a slightly gritty consistency after awhile. The coverage is fantastic, though, and to get this really bright, neon pink in an opaque gloss isn't always easy.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “lilac rose.” It’s a cool-toned rosy pink; it’s not as red as raspberry pink, but it’s not so cool-toned that it leans magenta or purple. NYX Rose is similar but has a very frosted finish, so it appears lighter. Guerlain Bloom of Rose is a warmer pink. Guerlain Belgravia is slightly pinker. Revlon Carnation is a bit frosted. MAC Unlimited is lighter and less cool-toned.

The Velvet Matte Lip Pencil is supposed to be richly pigmented, have a “velvety matte finish,” be long-wearing, and have a non-drying formula. NARS recommends using it as a lip liner, all-over color, or paired with another lip product. The drier, matte texture allows Never Say Never to wear long and hard–a solid five and a half hours–but my lips feel dehydrated after four hours. After six hours of wearing this shade, my lips weren’t cracked or severely chapped, but I did feel the pull for a boost of hydration.  The texture is soft, creamy enough that it doesn’t pull or tug too much at lips during application, but it is dry enough that it does feel like a matte lipstick.

It comes in a large, jumbo-sized crayon that needs to be sharpened, so you will lose product when this occurs, though it’s not as much as with the Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils, since this formula is drier and harder (not as soft and as pliant as the Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils). Readers have recommended freezing the pencil prior to sharpening it to minimize the waste.

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NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This shade will flatter the cooler-hued products in the collection, which is primarily the Marie-Galante eyeshadow duo. It doesn't pair as well with the warmer shades, like the Ramatuelle eyeshadow trio!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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