Monday, April 9th, 2012

Tom Ford Wet Violet Ultra Shine Lipgloss
Tom Ford Wet Violet Ultra Shine Lipgloss

Tom Ford Wet Violet Ultra Shine Lipgloss

Tom Ford Wet Violet Ultra shine Lipgloss ($45.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is a rich wine-berry with violet and pink shimmer. I couldn’t think of a perfect dupe for this exact hue, though I found some shades that are similar enough that they’re worth mentioning. MAC Color Saturation (because it recently debuted) is much, much lighter and appears more as a raspberry-pink. MAC Indigo Pink is pinker, redder, not as cool-toned or as berry. NARS Bougainville gives me a similar vibe, but the colors themselves are noticeably different–NARS’ shade is raspberry pink, not berry or purpled like Wet Violet. The closest shade I could think of was NARS Nana, which is redder and less purpled, but it has a similar vampy quality as well as similar application issues.

Tom Ford describes his gloss formula as being “high-shine” and “color-saturated.” He doesn’t mention any moisturizing benefits, just that the texture is “smooth and creamy.” It’s also noted that the gloss has a “high adherence,” which I assume is code for clings to lips better than your average gloss and, presumably, allows it to wear better/longer. The gloss is vanilla-scented but has no distinctive taste. It’s a sweet vanilla, less potent and not as sweet as MAC’s signature vanilla. Pleasing without being a confection of overblown sweetness.  It comes in a square tube with a brush-type applicator that doesn’t have any problems with random bristles being splayed out.

Wet Violet appears to be one of the deepest shades within the range of ten (I haven’t seen the range in person, so I can only make assumptions from the disappointing computer-generated swatches online), which means it is going to really push and test the limits of the overall quality and feel and look of the formula. Darker lipglosses are very difficult to master; they are naturally problematic, because you’re taking a very obvious, deep color and unless the gloss is opaque, there tends to be issues with color settling into lip lines (and being noticeable), evenness (which stands out, rather than disappears like it can with a lighter shade), and bleeding/feathering.

While the texture is undeniably lovely–soft, smooth, lightly tacky without being full-on sticky and thick (think MAC Lipglass), with a thicker feel that doesn’t end up feeling like goop–the color settles into lip lines and the color itself is tricky to apply evenly. The color coverage is semi-opaque; it adds plenty of color, but there’s enough translucency there that it enables a lot of your natural lip color to come through. This kind of gloss actually looks best on those with more pigmented lips!

Despite some of these drawbacks, Wet Violet wore for around five hours with most of the color intact, though the high-shine glossy finish had dwindled after three and a half hours. Tom Ford wasn’t able to overcome some tricky issues when working with really dark colors as glosses, and at this price tag, I had my fingers crossed. If you’re the type who only wears glosses over lipsticks, then it may still be worth checking out, as it will look much better over an opaque lipstick.

Overall, I can’t see myself shelling out the full $45 on this, but it makes me think of my favorite gloss of all-time (Cle de Peau #2), which is a whopping $55, but I adore it so much that it is still worth it to this day.  So perhaps not this shade but another shade, and if not for my wallet, for someone else’s wallet when the right color comes calling.  The formula seems good, as far as texture, feel, slip, and wear go, but it’s the color here that seems to take it down a peg with the color settling into lip lines.  I have a lighter shade I’ve yet to finish testing, so hopefully that one wears a bit better.

The Glossover

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product

Wet Violet

B

Overall, I can't see myself shelling out the full $45 on this, but it makes me think of my favorite gloss of all-time (Cle de Peau #2), which is a whopping $55, but I adore it so much that it is still worth it to this day. So perhaps not this shade but another shade, and if not for my wallet, for someone else's wallet when the right color comes calling.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Saturday, April 7th, 2012

NARS Norma Larger Than Life Lipgloss
NARS Norma Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Norma Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Norma Larger Than Life Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) is described as a “cherry red.” It’s a bright subtly blue-based red with no shimmer, just bold, bright color. It’s mostly opaque once applied. MAC Driven by Love is darker, more opaque, and has gold shimmer. Illamasqua Succubus is less blue-based, more opaque, brighter. MAC Wicked Ways is comparable in color but does have some shimmer. Illamasqua Fume is just slightly brighter. MAC Russian Red is a bit brighter.

I like the texture and overall quality of the Larger Than Life formula. It delivers rich, intense pigmentation with a really lovely consistency that’s not too thick or too thin–it has an almost gel-like feel on the lips, so it slides and moves around for easy evening out of color but doesn’t slip around and feather around the edges. While it doesn’t feel sticky initially, it gets progressively tackier while it wears. I’ve already expounded on the attribute I dislike most about the product, which is the incredibly small applicator. Precision is certainly possible with something that’s not quite so tiny, because it’s a little annoying having to go back multiple times to get enough product to cover my lips.

Norma managed to hang on and look good doing so for just under six hours.  I felt like reapplication was necessary by the seventh hour.  It fades evenly, too, so you don’t have a ring of color around the edges of your lips.  While it wears for such a long time (at least for a gloss), it keeps lips hydrated–mine never felt dry after wearing one of these glosses for hour after hour.  NARS talks about a natural plumping effect, but I didn’t see anything other than an enhanced shape as a result of the ultra shiny finish, which gives an illusion of fuller lips.

The Glossover

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Norma

A-
It delivers well on most of the claims that NARS made with respect to the formula--the only downside is the applicator with this particular shade. It's just too small; there's nothing wrong with going smaller than a doe-foot applicator, but I think this is the other extreme.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, April 6th, 2012

OCC Chlorophyll Lip Tar
OCC Chlorophyll Lip Tar

OCC Chlorophyll Lip Tar

OCC Chlorophyll Lip Tar ($14.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is described as a “full-on teal.” It’s a green-based teal. Not unsurprising, but I don’t have a ready dupe suggestion for you. Illamasqua Apocalips is much, much bluer. Chlorophyll has a strong green pull. It also has a lightly glossy finish, and while it’s plenty pigmented, the liquid-like texture does cause it to settle into lip lines.  The glossiness will fade after a half hour or so, and you can blend out the color a bit more, because it gets drier, so it won’t pull into the lip lines as much.  It can take a little practice to get the hang of Lip Tars, but their major selling point–to me–is their longevity, because the wear can be anywhere from six to ten hours, depending on the shade and how much it stains.

OCC’s Lip Tars just got a packaging revamp: they now come in clear, matte tubes with more of a needle-nose applicator, so you can get more precise applicator or squeeze out less product at once.  I like the matte finish to the packaging.  I never had a problem with the slanted tip from before, but I can see these being more practical and useful overall!  For best results, I recommend a lip brush, because you can apply as little as you really need, rather than attempting to use whatever has been squeezed out of the tube.  These can be easy to over-apply, because the formula is so very pigmented.

The Glossover

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Chlorophyll

A-
It does apply as evenly or as solidly as I'd like--there's enough settling into lip lines to be noticeable. There's still a lot of pigmentation in the product, it's not as opaque as other shades of the Lip Tar (which may be a result of the settling, as it appears less pigmented).

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Estee Lauder Citron Kiss Pure Color Lipgloss
Estee Lauder Citron Kiss Pure Color Lipgloss

Estee Lauder Citron Kiss Pure Color Lipgloss

Estee Lauder Citron Kiss Pure Color Lipgloss ($22.50 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is a gold shimmered gloss that has virtually no color, just soft, pale yellow gold shimmer and a glossy shine. MAC Moth to Flame looks similar on, though it’s less golden and more beige. Bobbi Brown Coral Sand is more orange. MAC Gold Dust is less yellow.  Really, any sheer gold-shimmered gloss will do.  I’m surprised I couldn’t think of something dead-on similar.  A gloss like this isn’t useless, it’s just not the type of gloss that most want ten of, because you can’t really see the nuances within it since there is not much to the base color.

If you like a little shimmer or you want something to layer over a lipstick without changing the color much, you might like this. I think it ends up being too simple to be a must-have for most. Citron Kiss wore of quickly, unfortunately–it was mostly gone after two hours. The texture is lightweight, feels almost gel-like once applied, and there is only a very slight tackiness to it (but I hesitate to call it that–it’s that subtle). Estee Lauder scents their glosses with their signature fig, which is best described as a sweet, fruity aroma.  It didn’t dry out my lips during the brief stint it was on my lips.

The Glossover

LE
product

Citron Kiss

B-
If you like a little shimmer or you want something to layer over a lipstick without changing the color much, you might like this. I think it ends up being too simple to be a must-have for most.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Citrus Sheer Color Lipgloss
Bobbi Brown Citrus Sheer Color Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Citrus Sheer Color Lipgloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer neon orange.” It’s a sheer tangerine orange that gives lips a darker, warmer look. It adds subtle color without looking opaque, but it definitely does something. Le Metier de Beaute Orange Juiced looks very, very similar–it just has shimmer.

I like the lightweight feel of Bobbi Brown’s Sheer Color Lipgloss, and it has a mint scent (but no taste) like the rest of her gloss line. The color is certainly sheer, but there is a high gloss shine. It has a slightly sticky texture that develops over time (because initially, it feels non-sticky). Citrus managed to hang on for about two hours but had disappeared entirely after two and a half hours.  Not drying, not moisturizing; it’s just kind of a so-so lipgloss.

By the by, am I the only one who likes the color in the tube to look like what it does on the lips? If I want a sheer lipgloss, I want it to look sheer and lightly tinted in the tube! If it’s going to be rich and opaque on, then I want it to look that way in the tube. Bobbi Brown is just one of many brands who’ve come out with products that look bold and opaque in the tube but are formulated specifically to be sheer.

The Glossover

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product

Citrus

B
It's sheer, just like it's supposed to be, but it does tint the lips just slightly and finishes them off with a high shine. If you've ever felt like you couldn't wear orange... I'm pretty sure you could get away with this one!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Guerlain Quand Vient l'Ete (141) Rouge Automatique Lipstick
Guerlain Quand Vient l’Ete (141) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Quand Vient l’Ete (141) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Quand Vient l’Ete (141) Rouge Automatique Lipstick ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a coral-orange with soft tangerine shimmer. Benefit Saucy is similar but with more shimmer. Dior Versailles is pinker. Cle de Peau Leonardis is a touch lighter but very similar. MAC Crosswires is close, though it doesn’t have the shimmer. MAC Viva Glam Cyndi is darker, more vibrant.

The shade yields mostly opaque color coverage, but the color does bunch up somewhat in random places, so the coverage isn’t perfectly even.  It’s not as noticeable as Guet-Apens, though.  Quand Vient l’Ete had a soft, creamy consistency that glided across lips with ease and no tugging or pulling whatsoever.  There’s a healthy dosage of shimmer, enough to be noticeable but not enough to give it a frosted finish, plus a natural sheen.  When I tested out this shade for wear, it hung on for four hours, which is about average.  For more packaging photos, please see this post.

The Glossover

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Quand Vient l'Ete

B+
It's a lovely shade of coral for the summer that should flatter warmer skin tones in particular. It has a fair amount of orange in it, so it may not be the ideal coral for cooler complexions.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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