Thursday, December 8th, 2011

NARS Flamenco Lipstick
NARS Flamenco Lipstick

NARS Flamenco Lipstick

NARS Flamenco Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sheer candy apple red.” It’s a faded watermelon red. Milani Bing Cherry is a bit more vibrant and redder but similar. It is very close to Guerlain Grenade with less of a creamy finish.

It’s not really sheer–you can see my lip freckle peeking through, but it’s still hidden a fair amount. This lipstick’s color coverage is closer to semi-opaque, so it’s not the sheer it’s described as. It’s part of the Sheer Lipstick formula, which is designed to be sheer and long-wearing with a healthy shine in the finish. This is my only issue with the product; it’s great in every other way, and ultimately, whether it’s not sheer enough or just pigmented enough for you, is just part of your rationalization process.

For me, however, I have to look at what the product is supposed to do, because personally, I love more opaque lipstick, but this just shouldn’t be, since it should be sheer as described. While we often have pigmented products that are sheer, this is a sheer product that’s too pigmented! It’s not totally opaque, and there is some translucency to the finish, but if you’re wondering why the pigmentation score is low, now you’ll understand. Thankfully, the extended wear of this shade helps this shade bounce back.

The formula is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and surprisingly long-wearing for as sheer as some of the shades can be. The wear with Flamenco was six hours, which is great wear, though not entirely unexpected with the redness of the shade. While it’s not very moisturizing (and it does claim to be), it’s also not drying, and you can always tell just how bad a lipstick is if you only wear that for six hours! It stains ever-so-slightly after wearing for more than a couple of hours. I did not notice any scent or taste, which is such an improvement from NARS’ lipsticks a couple of years ago that had a very waxy scent. Flamenco should be flattering across skin tones; the pinkness will make it workable on cooler complexions while the red will be workable on warmer complexions.

The Glossover

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product

Flamenco

A-
The formula is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and surprisingly long-wearing for as sheer as some of the shades can be. The wear with Flamenco was six hours, which is great wear, though not entirely unexpected with the redness of the shade. While it's not very moisturizing (and it does claim to be), it's also not drying, and you can always tell just how bad a lipstick is if you only wear that for six hours!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, December 5th, 2011

Guerlain Rose in Bloom KissKiss Lipgloss
Guerlain Rose in Bloom KissKiss Lipgloss

Guerlain Spring 2012: Rose in Bloom KissKiss Lipgloss

Guerlain Rose in Bloom KissKiss Lipgloss ($32.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “pure pink,” and it is one of four new and permanent glosses for spring. It looks like a peachy-pink with lots of pale gold sparkle when swatched (and in the tube), but on lips, it just looks like a sheer white peach gloss with lots of sparkle. I didn’t get any color to translate at all! You can find a number of similar barely-there shades in the Sheer Lipgloss Gallery.

KissKiss Lipgloss is a non-sticky, moisturizing formula that’s supposed to be water-resistant and long-lasting. It has three finishes (though I don’t know how you’d know which was what), the Petal Effect is sheer, Pearl Effect has “pearly essence,” while Gloss Effect gives a “subtle sparkling finish.” As far as I know, this is supposed to be a sheer to semi-sheer range (with KissKiss Laque being more opaque, which I believe is discontinued).

Rose in Bloom seems to lighten my lips a bit, because the resulting effect is more of a milky look with a lot of white and pale gold sparkle and shimmer. It has an ultra glossy shine, and the texture is almost gel-like; it’s thick without being goopy or sticky. It comes with a brush-type applicator that’s flexible without being floppy. KissKiss Lipgloss is scented with a sweet, fruity concoction but no taste. Where KissKiss Lipgloss excels is in its wear; it’s comfortable, moisturizing, non-sticky, and wears for four to five hours while retailing its shine for three to four hours.

I feel like water-resistant claims are kind of funny, because yes, water will trickle past your lip and onto your shirt, rather than streaking through your lipgloss, but water-resistant doesn’t seem to mean much in the world of lipgloss. When I hear “water-resistant” with a lipstick or gloss, my mind immediately thinks about being able to drink with the product on, but it’s by no means transfer-resistant, so you’ll still file remnants of gloss on the edge of your cup if you press your lip to it.

The Glossover

LE
product

Rose in Bloom

A-
This is the only shade I've seen so far, so I don't know if the other three releasing with the launch are as sheer or more semi-sheer; this particular shade is sheer and milky, so it's something that can be more easily duped and you may even own something comparable already!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Guerlain Rose Innocent Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Rose Innocent Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Spring 2012: Rose Innocent Rouge G Lipstick

Debuting in January, Guerlain Rose Innocent Rouge G Lipstick ($48.00 for 0.12 oz.) is pale pink with subtle yellow undertones. This shade is limited edition from Guerlain’s spring collection, and it is one of four Rouge Gs–I’ll have reviews on the other three as soon as I can buy them. It’s almost a neutral pink, but the color itself is very light–it’s just a pink-tinted version of my natural lip color. Very my-lips-but-better kind of shade, so it may be rather superfluous on someone with more pigmented lips or else serve as a way to lighten them a shade or two. OCC Femme is an opaque version of this shade. MAC Dress It Up is a cooler-toned pink. MAC Royal Azalea is similar in lightness but is a touch cooler toned. MAC Behave Yourself is a bit darker and bluer.

This is the kind of shade that someone will love and wear everyday or one where someone just doesn’t see the point. The color coverage is semi-opaque (you can just barley see my lip freckle), but there’s a general translucency throughout the product that lets my natural lip color peek through. Rose Innocent feels more like a Rouge G Brilliant than your typical Rouge G, because it has more slip and natural glossiness, but it’s not quite as glossy (and definitely not as sheer) as a Brilliant. The color doesn’t apply as evenly, and I expect it’s due to the slip in the texture. It only wore for three hours on me, which is decent for this type of light color, though I tend to get better wear out of the Rouge G formula than that. It is very hydrating and comfortable to wear, though.

The Glossover

LE
product

Rose Innocent

B
Not the best Rouge G shade I've come across; the Rouge G formula is a favorite, but this shade doesn't wear as long and the color doesn't deposit as evenly as the majority of the range.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Giorgio Armani #604 Plum Gloss d'Armani
Giorgio Armani #604 Plum Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #604 Plum Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #604 Plum Gloss d’Armani ($28.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is described as “bold amethyst.” It’s a sheer grape purple, and when applied to lips, it looks like a cool-toned plum-purple. It reminded me of Illamasqua Fierce when it swatched, but they’re nothing alike on the lips. I couldn’t think of any other potential gloss dupes.

It doesn’t look nearly as purple applied as it does swatched, because the natural pinkness of my lips (which are already rather corpse-like to begin with) peeks through and makes this shade more wearable than it appears. It looks super, super dark in the tube, but don’t let it fool you–it’s a sheer gloss. Giorgio Armani described it as “vivid yet so translucent on application that it matches any skin tone,” and it’s true; there’s definite color, plenty of pop and oomph, but there’s a translucency there that makes the gloss look a bit different from person to person, depending on their natural lip color. I’m torn; I kind of dig the way the color looks on lips from afar, but my lips almost look diseased up close, because it does not apply evenly and the color has a tendency to settle into lip lines.

Though you’ll see disappointing marks for longevity, it’s only because the brand claims eight hours of wear (without fading!), and I’ve never managed to hit that marker; I get to around six with darker shades, five or so with lighter shades. Don’t get me wrong–it’s excellent wear for lipgloss (because this is really lipgloss, it’s not a liquid lipstick), but it does fall short of their claim. The texture feels like a gel, and while it feels non-sticky initially, I find it gets tackier as you wear it.

The Glossover

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product

#604

B-
The unevenness and settling into lip lines can be deal-breakers for some; they're certainly not characteristics that sell this gloss. It wears for five hours and stays glossy for three. The pigmentation is right where Giorgio Armani described it!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Guerlain Habit Rouge (123) Rouge Automatique Lipstick
Guerlain Habit Rouge (123) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Habit Rouge (123) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Habit Rouge (123) Rouge Automatique Lipstick ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant orange-toned red with a subtle sheen. It delivers full color coverage in one pass, and because of the intensity of the red, it wears for eight hours and still looks good. The orange undertones in this shade are subtle, though, but they are distinctly there.  Clarins Red Prodige is more orange, less deep. Make Up For Ever #44 is just a touch more neutral. CoverGirl Hot is similar but more vibrant. Chanel Excessive is also more orange and vibrant. Chanel Gabrielle is brighter and more orange.

Rouge Automatique is very comparable to the Rouge G formula, and the differences are minute, though they are there. This is an excellent formula regardless of that comparison, though, because it’s creamy enough to glide on but not so creamy that the color slips around, comfortable to wear, and keeps lips feeling hydrated, too. For more packaging photos, please see this post. My lips are always happy when a Rouge Automatique is on the swatching docket!

The Glossover

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product

Habit Rouge

A+
Rouge Automatique is a top-notch formula, because the creaminess of the texture enables it to glide on, making for an easy application, but it's lightweight and never slippery, so it stays on and wears for hours.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette
theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette ($28.00 for 0.59 oz.) is a limited edition follow up to Vol. 1 (which is still available, but I don’t have it and haven’t seen it myself). It includes one highlighter, four eyeshadows (or liners), lip/cheek color, and a lipgloss.

As other theBalm products are packaged, this one is also in cardboard packaging with a full-sized mirror on the interior of the lid. The palette opens about two-thirds of the way down so that one side covers or reveals the powder products and the other side covers or reveals the cream products–this is a really nice feature, because it helps to limit any loose powder from contaminating the cream products. It contains a good amount of product and is a good value overall.

  • Promiscuous Pearl is a pale beige with champagne shimmer. It adds a soft glow on cheeks without being overwhelming. If you like Mary Lou-manizer, you’d like this one, just as a more neutral version. The texture is still really buttery and soft, so it is blendable and finely-milled and doesn’t emphasize pores. It reminded me of Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees.
  • Jinxy Jasmyne is a sooty black that looks morre intense in the pan than it does on the skin. It has a mostly matte finish, but it’s rather dry and ends up being chalky and uneven. When applied, it can easily darken the crease, but you really need to use a fluffy brush (remember to tap off any excess!) to make this one work. Application is better with a damp brush, like one might use if you were to use it as an eyeliner. It’s similar to a lot of matte blacks, like MAC Carbon.
  • Manic Maribel is an orange-y copper with a frosted golden sheen. The pigmentation is opaque with soft, blendable color. It’s almost the same as Bare Escentuals Louder. It’s a little lighter than shades like theBalm Meep Meep, Urban Decay Baked, and MAC Amber Lights.
  • Open to Offers Olwen is a muted teal-blue shot through with silvery-blue shimmer. This shade is also in the Shady Lady Vol. 3 palette. It has good color payoff and a dense, buttery texture. Inglot #413 is a bit lighter but similar.
  • Lavish Latoya is a medium-dark purple with subtle red undertones and a frosted finish. It was on the sheerer side, though. Urban Decay AC/DC is quite similar with a slightly more metallic sheen. Bare Escentuals Encore is also similar. Milani Purr-fect Purple is a little lighter. theBalm All the Way Annie is a bit darker but still close.
  • Strawberry is a poppy red that can be applied opaque or blended out for a sheerer look. On lips, it’s much pinker–more like a slightly coral-pink with a creamy finish. The color coverage is mostly opaque. It’s not as dark as MAC Ultra Darling. NARS Niagara is more coral. It’s pretty close to Bobbi Brown Pink.
  • Nude is an opaque beige nude with a cream finish. MAC C-Thru is similar in color, but this is much more opaque.

It’s not my favorite palette by theBalm; I think it has promise and potential, but it’s not fully there.  The color combination is off for me–this is not a palette that lends itself to a lot of versatility.  I feel like you really need to pull in products from your stash to make the palette really pop.  The cheek/lip color is pretty but vibrant enough that it doesn’t pair well with the eyeshadows.  I was disappointed in the texture and payoff of Jinxy Jasmyne and Lavish Latoya was just slightly under-performing.   Shades like Manic Maribel and Lavish Latoya are found in a lot of brands, so this wouldn’t be a palette for long-time beauty aficionados.  As a face palette, I’d have liked to see a powder blush, rather than a mega-sized black eyeshadow.

The Glossover

palette

Balmbini Vol. 2

B+
The overall quality of the palette is there, but the color combination doesn't resonate as well with me--as a face palette, it needs more in the cheek department; it's too eye-heavy.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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