Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Hourglass Primal Extreme Sheen Lipgloss
Hourglass Primal Extreme Sheen Lipgloss

Hourglass Primal Extreme Sheen Lipgloss

Hourglass Primal Extreme Sheen Lipgloss ($28.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a plum-tinged red with soft gold shimmer. It’s semi-sheer to semi-opaque on lips; close-up, it looks sheerer, but from further away, it seems to give the illusion of more coverage. It has the same rich texture of the other Extreme Sheen lipglosses, but this is the sheerest I’ve come across so far.

my thoughts on the formula: It is such a rich, luxurious gloss that applies nicely and doesn’t settle much into lips, given its darker and sheerer color. The formula is thick without being goopy, non-sticky, and very moisturizing. I get three to four hours of wear. There is a light, sweet scent–reminiscent of perhaps creme brulee–that doesn’t feel overwhelming nor smell synthetic.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The sheerer, darker color of this gloss makes it slightly more difficult to ensure an even layer. It’s interesting to see how many different finishes are found within the Extreme Sheen line-up, though. Wish they’d put more in each tube, though–0.12 oz. is below average.

where to buy: Hourglass

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Monday, February 21st, 2011

NARS Nana Lipgloss
NARS Nana Lipgloss

NARS Spring 2011: Nana

NARS Nana Lipgloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a blackened plum that applies semi-opaque. It is still quite dark, but it is nowhere near as dark applied as it appears in the tube (which almost photographs black!). Though I really liked the color itself, and it gave a rather stained glass look to lips, it isn’t so easy to work with by itself. I would recommend layering it over a lipstick or lip liner in order to minimize the gloss settling into lip lines. I also found that if you touch your lips together at all, it really moved the gloss around and made it look blotchy.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of this particular gloss felt so different from other NARS’ Lipglosses, it was rather sticky. It wasn’t thick like holiday’s Downtown, but I still found this gloss rather tacky, while other NARS glosses are non-sticky (and it is a trait that these lipglosses are known for). In the past, NARS glosses have had plastic-y smells, but I haven’t noticed this in the latest seasonal launches, including Nana.

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

final thoughts: If you don’t mind some prep work (like lip liner) or layering (over a lipstick), I think it’s a nice shade. It should suit both cooler and warmer skin tones, though it is naturally cool toned. It is a more high-maintenance kind of lip color, unfortunately!

where to buy: NARS

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Monday, February 21st, 2011

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick: Bare Pink (9), Plum Rose (10), Rose Blossom (11), Heather Pink (12), Mod Pink (13)

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color: Part 2

We’re back with the second set of five Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color SPF 12 ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.). These shades are officially described as: Bare Pink (beige), Plum Rose (rich plum), Rose Blossom (pink rose), Heather Pink (dusty rose), and Mod Pink (bright pink). The Rich Lip Color is new lipstick formula for spring (and being added to the permanent range). According to Bobbi Brown, these are “lightweight, yet intense” and have “a clear base to deliver pure, crisp color with just one swipe.” The formula is also “creamy and moisturizing.” (Be sure to check out part one.)

I’ve road tested three shades from the line-up specifically for wear: Bikini Pink, Soft Coral, Old Hollywood. The idea is to test for wear and to do so with shades with different intensities. Bikini Pink is the lightest, while Soft Coral lies in the middle, and Old Hollywood, being a red, was likely to last the longest. The lighter colors inevitably fade/last less than deeper shades, as deeper shades often stain, which is why I try to test from both ends of a spectrum when it comes to a new lipstick formula.

  • Bare Pink is a pink-tinged peach-beige with a creamy finish and soft shine. It remindedme of Guerlain’s Guerlinade, without the shimmer, and perhaps a touch darker. It is also lighter and less orange in compraison to Korres #34 Nude Guava.
  • Plum Rose is a plummy pink with a creamy finish and soft shine. It is similar to Hourglass Nocturnal, just a little less plum, along with Maybelline Bit of Berry (but also less plum).
  • Rose Blossom is a brighter plum pink–it is very similar to Plum Rose, but it’s a touch brighter. It is less plum in comparison to both Houglass Nocturnal and Maybelline Bit of Berry, but it is also brighter.
  • Heather Pink is a dusty, muted pink–a little beige-brown in it. It is a little pinker than Benefit Lala Land.
  • Mod Pink is a cool-toned, brighter medium pink with blue undertones. It is similar to Dolce & Gabbana Splendid and Lancome Pink Sapphire.

my thoughts on the formula: These are really comfortable to wear,with their semi-matte finishes, creamy but lightweight texture, and rich color coverage.  Every shade was opaque and needed very little product to achieve full color coverage.  They are also scent- and taste-free, which should appeal to some.  Wear was anywhere from four to six hours, with deeper shades like Old Hollywood lasting a full six and beginning to fade after that.  Lighter shades hung on for about four hours.

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

final thoughts: I actually really liked these; I love how pigmented they are, but they’re creamy without actually being creamy.  They have the feel, glide, and finish of creamier formulas, but there is very little slip and very little product is on the lips, giving a rather featherweight feel.  These colors do not have a full matte finish, but they still wear well–no clinging or seeping into lip lines.

where to buy: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick
MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “light warm beige.” It’s a peach-tinged pale beige-nude with an amplified finish. The amplified finish gives is a creamier consistency, more color pigmentation, and a semi-matte finish. I did find this shade a little on the drier side, so I would recommend prepping lips accordingly (keep the moisturized, exfoliate prior).

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, but with lighter shades like Viva Glam Gaga 2, I expect around four.

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

final thoughts: The warm undertones are very slight and subtle; they’re not overwhelming, so this nude will still work on cooler skin tones. It’s like a peach version of Creme d’Nude; lighter version of Peachstock. I wish it was more forgiving on lips–perhaps less dry–because it tends to show imperfections on the lips.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipglass
MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipglass

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipglass

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipglass ($14.50 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is described as a “light neutral pinked beige.” In reality, I found it more of a neutral light-medium beige with subtle white micro-shimmer. The finish was creamy, not quite milky, but as such, there was some settling into lip lines. It is a thicker gloss, too, so be careful when applying it to ensure an even finish (also avoiding smooshing your lips together too much, as it will push around the gloss and making it look uneven).

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).

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

final thoughts: The color itself is a great neutral nude; I do see it working for most skin tones and under tones, assuming you like nudes. It’s not too pale, not too deep that it’s more brown than beige. Surprisingly, I couldn’t come up with a great MAC dupe for this shade; it is closest to Illicit but it’s less orange.  C-Thru would be your closest within the permanent range but much paler.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Cle de Peau Calliope (T4) Extra Rich Lipstick
Cle de Peau Calliope (T4) Extra Rich Lipstick

Cle de Peau Extra Rich Lipstick: Calliope

Cle de Peau Calliope (T4) Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a peach nude with a creamy finish and soft champagne micro-shimmer. The finish has a slightly glossy look but not too much shine. Extra Rich Lipsticks have a faceted lipstick, with more defined edges, which does allow for crisper lines.  This is a suitable nude for warmer skin tones, especially for those who find that nudes too often wash them out.

my thoughts on the formula: The color applies opaque in a single pass with a smooth, even finish. Extra Rich Lipsticks are absolutely a luxury item; they are pure 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.

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

final thoughts: Cle de Peau is absolutely a luxury brand, and it is most certainly not masquerading as anything else. This is a brand and product that will not appeal to everyone and isn’t meant to, which I think is important to remember. If budget isn’t a concern, I have always really enjoyed Cle de Peau’s formulas and shade range. It is better to invest in a color you will wear everyday with joy than two shades that you are only so-so.

where to buy: Saks

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