Monday, January 10th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette
Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette

Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette

Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette ($60.00 for 0.36 oz.) is an all-in-one palette with four eyeshadows, one blush, two lipglosses, and one lipstick. It includes:  Navajo (creamy pinkish white), Rose Gold (golden pink), Burnished Rose (warm rose), Chocolate Caviar (deep chocolate brown), Plum (deep pinky plum), Pink Pudding (bright medium pink), Pink Bouquet (baby pink with silver flecks), and Powerful (bright deep pink).

  • Navajo is a pale beige white with a matte finish. This is part of the permanent range.
  • Rose Gold is a rose-tinged bronze gold with a frosted finish.
  • Burnished Rose is a warmed-up, soft light-medium brown beige with a matte finish.
  • Chocolate Caviar is a deep, dark cool-toned chocolate brown with a matte finish.
  • Plum is a very pinked plum with lots of color pay off; it can be built up with ease or blended out for a softer look. It has a near matte finish.  This is a powder blush.
  • Pink Pudding is a sheer, medium pink with soft pink shimmer.  This is a Shimmer Lip Gloss.
  • Pink Bouquet is a semi-sheer rosy pink with petal pink shimmer.  This is a Glitter Lip Gloss.
  • Powerful is an opaque, rich, deep burgundy wine with a creamy, slightly shiny finish.  This is a lipstick.

The palette contains 0.09 oz. of Eyeshadow ($22.50 value), 0.04 oz. Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow ($7.50 value), 0.14 oz. of blush ($23.69 value), 0.028 oz. of Shimmer Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), 0.028 of Glitter Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), and 0.035 oz. of Lip Color ($6.42 value). It total value of the products inside the palette sums to $68.11, while the palette itself costs $60. It’s not a value-packed palette, but you’re getting your money’s worth.

All four eyeshadows were pigmented, and Chocolate Caviar was the only one that didn’t have a really beautifully creamy, silky texture (just slightly drier), and the Plum blush was also nicely pigmented.  The two lip glosses are both on the sheer side as Bobbi Brown glosses often are, while the lipstick was gorgeous and rich in color.

I love the sleek packaging, and I think the typography on the outside cover of the palette is beautiful.  Bobbi Brown’s campaign of Pretty. Powerful. is really a fantastic slogan, so I’m all for it being emblazoned across the palette itself.  Though I’m not personally that fond of palettes that mix powders with gloss or creams, I do like that Bobbi Brown’s palettes always seem to have deeper wells and a very tightly clasping palette to minimize powder migration.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: For those who like palettes that make their mornings easier, Bobbi Brown’s Powerful palette may just be one of those.  With eyeshadows, blush, and lip color all in one go all housed in a slim palette, it is easy to travel with.  However, I am not sure just how keen I am with the way the eyeshadows coordinate with the blush and lip colors–they are almost too orange compared to the plum and pink of the other shades.

WHERE TO BUY: Bobbi Brown

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Saturday, January 8th, 2011

NARS Little Darling Lipstick
NARS Little Darling Lipstick

NARS Little Darling Lipstick

NARS Little Darling Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a limited edition light beige nude that applies semi-sheer with a glossier finish. It seems to have more neutral undertones, and on me, it looks like my natural lip color pulls a touch of pink out of it. It has a creamier, slicker feel than other NARS lipsticks have, and it is very comfortable to wear.

NARS Lipstick typically wears four to six hours, with a shade like this lasting just under four. It has a creamier texture that’s moisturizing, and this particular shade is more opaque (some shades can be quite sheer). I didn’t notice any waxy scent, as NARS lipsticks are typically unscented but the scent of the waxy base sometimes come through.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: For lighter skin tones, both cool and warm, I see this being a workable nude. It’s sheer enough that it doesn’t come across too pale, but it has enough color to alter the natural color of your lips.

WHERE TO BUY: NARS

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Saturday, January 8th, 2011

NYX Burgundy Mega Shine Lipgloss
NYX Burgundy Mega Shine Lipgloss

NYX Burgundy Mega Shine Lipgloss

NYX Burgundy Mega Shine Lipgloss ($5.50 for 0.21 fl. oz.) is a darkened raspberry red with soft ruby and pink micro-shimmer. It’s semi-opaque on lips, and it has a high gloss finish and almost looks metallic due to the ruby shimmer.  This gloss was scent-free, but in the past, I’ve NYX glosses that have smelled like plastic as well as synthetic berry.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you’re not sensitive to those scents, the Mega Shine Lipgloss range is always a good place to start.  It looks beautiful on, and it wears a solid four hours without leaving lips feeling dry.

WHERE TO BUY: NYX

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Friday, January 7th, 2011


Chanel Taffeta Rose Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel Cote d’Azur: Taffeta Rose

Chanel Taffeta Rose (16) Rouge Coco Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is brightened dark pink with subtle fuchsia micro-shimmer. It is shade from Chanel’s Cote d’Azur Collection.  The finish has a frostiness that’s not overwhelming but more noticeable here than in other Rouge Cocos.  I also felt like this one emphasized even the most minute imperfections on the lips.

Rouge Coco is a slightly drier formula, because most of the shades are frost finishes, but I don’t find it drying–it’s just not moisturizing. It has a light vanilla-rose scent that’s rather faint but still detectable. It doesn’t seem to linger, though. On average, Rouge Cocos last four hours on me. I like the formula overall, and the shade range tends to be very wearable with a wide variety of colors from pinks to browns to reds. Pigmentation ranges from semi-sheer to semi-opaque, with a few shades being quite opaque and a couple on the sheerer side.

P.S. — I’m wearing Benefit Sugarbomb blush on cheeks.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: The Rouge Coco formula is most suitable for those with relatively healthy lips; if  your lips are dry and cracking, I would recommend opting for a more moisturizing formula (perhaps  Rouge Allure, if you want to stay within Chanel).  Taffeta Rose would suit both cool and warmer skin tones, because while it is slightly cool, it doesn’t pull too blue.

WHERE TO BUY: Chanel

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Friday, January 7th, 2011


Cle de Peau Leonardis (R3) Extra Rich Lipstick

Going Luxe: Cle de Peau Leonardis (R3) Extra Rich Lipstick

Cle de Peau Leonardis (R3) Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a soft pinked coral with subtle gold micro-shimmer. The color applies opaque in a single pass with a smooth, even finish. Extra Rich Lipsticks are absolutely a luxury item; they are head to toe decadence. The texture is incredibly smooth and creamy without being slippery or heavy. It imparts a nice level of moisture on lips and never feels drying. The formula also de-emphasizes lip lines after about fifteen minutes of wear. I get between four and six hours of wear.

Is this a color you would wear — if money were no object, of course?

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: The faceted lipstick tube with its corners and edges makes it easire to get crisp, defined lines when applying, and the formula itself is fantastic. Just enough glide to apply beautifully without sliding off. Cle de Peau is a luxury brand, and the price ultimately reflects that, but I am pleased to note that it contains 0.14 oz., which is slightly more than the average lipstick. Worth it? It is more about whether it’s a color you’ll love, wear often, and feel good about every time you wear it.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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Thursday, January 6th, 2011


Make Up For Ever Star Lab Shine Lipglosses

Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lipglosses: Star Finish

For spring (although, these have been available at Make Up For Ever boutiques since last June), Make Up For Ever launches new Lab Sine Lip Gloss ($18.00 for 0.09 oz.) in three finishes with 35 shades in total.

I reviewed the Metal Lab Shines several months ago, when I first purchased the Lab Shines. My intention was always to review all of the ones I purchased (which is all except for three, which they did not have in-stock at the time), but I was never able to get through lip swatches for all of the new glosses. I do still hope to do lip swatches for them in the future, but for now, please enjoy swatches and photos.

The Star Collection includes 14 shades and contains Make Up For Ever’s Star Powder. This finish is supposed add a lot of shine with iridescent mother-of-pearl. All of the lip glosses have both hyaluronic acid and Camelina oil for help moisturize lips and improve elasticity. It is a non-sticky gloss with a slight, tropical fruit kind of scent. The scent is not overwhelming, and it doesn’t smell synthetically sweet. They are packaged in thick, clear tubes with a black cap and a brush-type applicator.

The shades included in this finish are: S0 (pearly nude), S2 (pearly light beige), S4 (pearly pink beige), S6 (pearly peach), S8 (pearly ruby red), S10 (pearly caramel), S12 (pearly praline), S14 (pearly blackcurrant), S16 (pearly raspberry), S18 (pearly rosewood), S20 (pearly violet), S22 (pearly candy pink), S24 (pearly coral), and S26 (pearly electric rose). All of the shades are featured in this post except #S2, which was not available for purchase when I purchased the rest of these.

  • S0 is a sheer, pearly champagne beige with pale champagne shimmer.
  • S4 is a sheer, pearly rose pink with soft yellow undertones and champagne shimmer.
  • S6 is a sheer, coral with peach and pale gold shimmer.
  • S8 is a semi-sheer, blue-based red with soft gold shimmer.
  • S10 is a sheer, burnt brown with slight orange tones and beige shimmer.
  • S12 is a sheer, neutral brown with gold and champagne shimmer.
  • S14 is a sheer, darkened plum with pink and pale gold shimmer.
  • S16 is a sheer, muted, medium fuchsia pink with icy pink and champagne shimmer.
  • S18 is sheer, rosy brown with pink and teal shimmer.
  • S20 is a sheer, milky cool-toned pink with gold shimmer.
  • S22 is a sheer, soft pink with subtle cool undertones and pale gold and pink shimmer.
  • S24 is a sheer pinked coral with subtle gold shimmer.
  • S26 is a semi-sheer dark fuchsia pink with fuchsia iridescence.

Star Lab Shines have a very smooth texture; they’re thick without being goopy, but they are very comfortable to wear. They’re some of the more moisturizing glosses I have tried, and with these lighter shades, I get about two to three hours of wear. I’d love ‘em more if they wore longer (three to four is average for me, two is below), but I do love that they have a huge shade range (that’s permanent!).

My big complaint is that these only have 0.09 oz. in them–the average lipgloss has about 0.20 oz., and even Make Up For Ever’s Fascinating Lipgloss contained that much, but they halved the size and kept the price. I understand these are a completely different formula and contain their various powders (Diamond, Star, and Metal), but whether that really merits what is in essence over a 50% price increase is up for debate.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: These are very nice gloss basics; they’re non-sticky, comfortable to wear, and there are lots of shades to choose from. The Star finish is probably my favorite, because it has a nice level of sparkle and iridescence that’s not glittery or over the top. These are generally on the sheerer side, though, but deposit more color than the Diamond finish.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora.com

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