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).

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • 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

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • 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

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Lipstick: Guava (1), Old Hollywood (2), Sweet Nectar (6), Soft Coral (7), Bikini Pink (8)

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color: Part 1

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color SPF 12 ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) are new lipstick formula for spring (and being added to the permanent range). The line consists of twelve shades, and this review features five of those. 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.” These shades are officially described as: Guava (bright pink coral), Old Hollywood (bright cherry red), Sweet Nectar (coral pink), Soft Coral (pale peach), and Bikini Pink (soft white pink).

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.

  • Guava is a deep pink-coral-red with a hint of orange. It’s bright without being neon. It is slightly less orange than Illamasqua’s Mistress. It is darker than Laura Mercier’s Tangerine. It is more intense and deeper than MAC Crosswires.
  • Old Hollywood is a bright, rich cherry red with a blue-base. It is similar to Guerlain Greta, MAC Russian Red (but it’s not as bright), and Rimmel Alarm (it is darker).
  • Sweet Nectar is a medium-dark pink coral. It is richer and a little brighter than MAC See Sheer, slightly more orange-based than Milani Bora Bora.
  • Soft Coral is a softened orange; more orange than coral. It is more orange than MAC Ravishing, but it is less coral than MAC Vegas Volt.
  • Bikini Pink is a soft, light-medium pink with subtle yellow undertones. It is a few shades lighter than Cle de Peau #106, not as pink as MAC Angel nor as light as MAC Hue, but it is similar to MAC Overtime.

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.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • 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

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

NARS Tzigane Lipstick
NARS Tzigane Lipstick

NARS Spring 2011: Tzigane

NARS Tzigane Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sheer, pink brandy” that gives “a whisper of subtle color to the lips.” The name was inspired by Maurice Ravel, a French composer, and it translates to “gypsy.” I can get down with the “pink brandy” descriptor, actually. I would describe it as a lightened, rosy brown with a subtle peachiness. It has a subtle shine but nothing glossy or over-the-top. While described as sheer, I found it surprisingly pigmented–I would say semi-opaque rather than semi-sheer.

my thoughts on the formula: 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.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: I recommend this for both cool and warm undretones; I think it works well with both. Despite being described as sheer, I found it rather opaque, so while the color is more muted, it may be too dark for a really bold or dramatic eye. It should work nicely everyday to semi-dramatic looks, and it will pair best with neutrals, bronzes, and berries.

where to buy: NARS

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

YSL Golden Red (37) Golden Gloss
YSL Golden Red (37) Golden Gloss

YSL Golden Red (37) Golden Gloss

YSL Golden Red (37) Golden Gloss ($30.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a near-opaque holiday red with gold shimmer and a high gloss finish. It has a orange base but doesn’t pull to fiery on me at all. I love that despite the opaqueness of the color, it doesn’t bleed at all.

my thoughts on the formula: Fun fact: Golden Gloss really does contain gold–0.2% of 24 carat gold to be exact. It’s a shimmering non-sticky, moisturizing gloss that has a sweet mango scent. Typically, these wear four hours on me. Some are sheer, some are more opaque; usually, the darker shades are the ones that are more likely to be opaque.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: If you’re a fan of more pigmented glosses and have been looking for an orange-based red, Golden Red should work quite nicely.

where to buy: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud Shine Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud Shine Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud Shine Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Rosebud (170) Shine Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a glossy pale pink iwth a hint of rose and soft white micro-shimmer. It’s nearly opaque, and the paleness of the color makes the fuller coverage color look milky and creamy.

my thoughts on the formula: The Shine Lipsticks can be very creamy, when the finish is less shimmery, or more glimmering, if the finish is shimmery. Overall, they have a glossiness that isn’t there in the brand’s Classic Cream Lipsticks. The lipstick is rose-scented, and it is one of the heavier scented products I’ve come across, so if you are at all sensitive to scents, I would probably keep on looking. I usually average four hours of wear with this formula.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: It is a surprisingly flattering milky pink, even on medium skin tones.  Milky pinks tend to wash me out, so I do find them hard to wear on their own, but I think this works.  I also like that it doesn’t have strong cool undertones.

where to buy: Saks

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →