Wednesday, July 13th, 2011


Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color ($19.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a new-for-fall product, which is exclusive to Sephora. This product claims to deliver long-wearing opaque color without feathering and all with a glossy shine–oh, and they’re supposed to be moisturizing, too. There are currently five shades: F-Bomb (bright red cream), Punch Drunk (bright orange cream), Adrenaline (bright fuchsia sparkle), Crush (hot pink), and Big Bang (bright pink with sparkle).

  • F-Bomb is a bright, medium-dark red with subtle ruby shimmer. It’s opaque, and it does stain a little (but surprisingly, not as much as some reds). It does have a subtly glossy shine. Overall, it leans a touch blue, but it’s not strongly blue-based. Make Up For Ever #44 is similar but not quite as dark. Guerlain Gwen is less vibrant. NYX Hero is not as opaque, slightly darker. Burberry Hibiscus seems a touch lighter. Chanel Dragon is a bit darker and has more shimmer.
  • Punch Drunk is a vibrant, darkened orange with creamy finish and subtle shine. It’s completely opaque. MAC Strut Your Stuff ius similar, perhaps not as dark. Giorgio Armani #405 is similar in vibrancy, but it is brighter, less red-based. Dolce & Gabbana Sheer is very similar.
  • Adrenaline is a darkened raspberry red with ruby and pink shimmer and glitter. I did not find that this was really glossy at all–it felt a little dry when I applied it, and it looked more like a regular lipstick than a gloss. MAC Quite the Thing is similar, more iridescent. Estee Lauder Wild Violet is slightly redder. NYX Chloe is similar in base color but has more iridescence.
  • Crush is a creamy blue-based fuchsia pink with a glossy shine. It’s nearly opaque in color. NARS Schiap is pinker, not quite as blue-based. MAC Florida is similar in color but lighter.
  • Big Bang is medium-dark raspberry pink with fuchsia glitter. It is lighter, less opaque, and not nearly as red as Adrenaline. This is cooler-toned as well. MAC Pink Burst is very similar, while MAC Quite the Thing is darker.

The majority of these shades are vibrant and rich in color, which means they definitely wear longer rather than shorter. Shades like F-Bomb wear three to four hours with a subtle shine, but the color itself lasts through a meal and still looks presentable six hours later. I only tested the wear on F-Bomb and Big Bang, so I could test out different finishes. Both Adrenaline and Big Bang have a fair amount of glitter (“sparkle”) in their finishes, and as a result, they have a slightly gritty texture, which becomes more noticeable over time, as the creaminess of the product wears away. It doesn’t travel too much, but as fun as the sparkling glitter might be, it is more troublesome than the creamier finishes. I did get four hours of wear with Big Bang.

Crush was the only shade that had a high gloss shine–the kind expected from these–while the others fell a little flat. Adrenaline was the only shade that I felt really missed the shine. F-Bomb, Punch Drunk, and Big Bang all had a subtle shine. After I wore them, I’m pleased to report my lips did not dry out, so they delivered on their ability to moisturize while worn. I also did not experience any bleeding while wearing F-Bomb, which is the most likely to bleed as it is a rich red.

This product is easy to sharpen, but you’ll waste doing so (from what I can tell, 1-2 uses), and you won’t particularly enjoy cleaning out your sharpener afterward. It shaves off the actual product, while it sharpens, and because of the creaminess of the formula, it smears easily when you attempt to clean. I tested it twice by removing the entire sharpened portion (so initially, the entire tip, then I sharpened until about 3mm of product was exposed, removed that, repeated).

Aside from the sharpening issue, the new pencils are rather good–as long as you don’t mind the lack of glossy shine. They look more like lipsticks than glosses (except for Crush). It falls short of that particular claim, which is reflected in the product rating, but it is certainly something that may be easily overlooked.

The Glossover

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Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's long-wearing, moisturizing, and four of the five deliver mostly opaque color coverage. Depending on how often you expect to use the lip pencil, the amount you lose from sharpening may be concerning.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, July 13th, 2011


Chanel Rouge Byzantin Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Byzance: Rouge Byzantin Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Rouge Byzantin Rouge Allure Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as “an iridescent ruby red with a hint of sapphire, for a rich, jewel-toned lip look.” On me, it’s a rich, pinked red with ruby micro-shimmer. It delivers nearly opaque color and even coverage. There is subtle iridescent sheen–looks almost fuchsia to me–that pops at a distance. It’s a very holiday-esque red to me. It’s bright and joyous, but the depth of the color gives it a luxurious richness.

Rouge Allure is a lovely formula–rich in color, moisturizing, and longer-wearing. I typically get five to six hours of wear, but with an intense shade of red like this, it tends to wear just past six. The color didn’t bleed or fade unevenly, either, which is excellent when you wear a high maintenance color like red.

It’s pinker and bluer than Chanel Lover, and similar but deeper than Dior Technicolor Red. You can see side-by-side comparisons here.

The Glossover

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Rouge Byzantin

A+
Blue-based reds are best on cooler skin tones, but the underlying pinkness to this red will make it wearable on warmer skin tones as well.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, July 6th, 2011


Giorgio Armani #505 Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #505 Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #505 Gloss d’Armani ($28.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a blue-based, raspberry-pink with iridescent fuchsia shimmer. It’s semi-opaque and upon application yields good color coverage for a gloss (that’s not closer to a liquid lipstick), but you do still see my lip freckle peeking through.

I feel the need to preface this review with: I LOVE these lipglosses. I am personally impressed and think these are an excellent new gloss on the market, but just because I personally think a product is great for my needs does not mean I can disregard what the product is supposed to do. I think they over-promise on the gloss, but the gloss itself is better in certain ways than your average lipgloss.

Gloss d’Armani makes a surprising amount of claims, many of them seemingly lofty, including: “concentrated, high definition color,” “stay-fast color is like a second skin that remains true for eight hours without fading or migrating,” and “hydrated, silky smooth feeling without any stickiness.” It sounds like we should expect a long-wearing gloss (8 hours, as specified–and more importantly, that is when it should start to fade) that’s rich in color (“concentrated, high definition color”), hydrating (‘hydrated, silky smooth”), and not sticky (“without any stickiness”). Although, later on in the product description, Giorgio Armani describes the “nude beiges” as “draping the lips in a sheer chiffon-like veil” and further describes shade #400 as a “sheer version for an astonishing, explosive effect” of one of their signature reds. This seems to say that the color range is ultimately going to vary in pigmentation, because “sheer” doesn’t mean “concentrated,” and “chiffon” is certainly not opaque. Talk about making things confusing!

The texture of the Gloss d’Armani’s is really complex, and I say this because it changes over time as you wear it. Initially, it feels thick without being heavy or goopy, and glides on much like a gel would. It feels squishy on the lips but doesn’t slip and slide around. Within fifteen minutes, I find it feels less like a gel and a little tacky. After two hours, it’s definitely a tackier lip product. It’s not thick and sticky like MAC Lipglass, but there is definitely a sticky quality to it. I find removal is best with a makeup removing wipe or cotton round (or the like) in eye/lip makeup remover.

It doesn’t quite wear for eight hours for me, and certainly not without noticeable fading. It lasts about five hours before beginning to fade, but by the sixth hour of wear, there is some fading. When I drink, some of the gloss did transfer onto the edge of the cup, but the gloss remains mostly intact. I think if one doesn’t drink or eat, six hours of decent wear is more attainable, but it’s not very realistic (I could not get to eight without fading). The good news is that six hours is still a long period of time to wear a single lip product, and you’ll certainly be able to tell if it wasn’t hydrating–this gloss is definitely moisturizing. After wearing nothing but this gloss on my lips for eight hours (including some of their lighter shades), my lips did not feel cracked dry afterward.

This product fell short of the eight-hour wear claim made, which hurts the rating of this product in longevity. I appreciate they specified what “long-wearing” meant, though. Many brands will say “long-wearing” but never give you any kind of time frame to expect, and thus, it can be difficult to determine where one marks normal wear and long-wear. I also found this product noticeably tacky; while it feels like a non-sticky gloss when swatched and initially worn, it becomes sticky over time for me. I thought maybe I was delusional on that point, so I actually tested out three colors several times just to determine the tackiness.

The three I have are scent- and taste-free. They come in rounded, slightly oval tubes and look a lot like the Rouge d’Armani Lipsticks. It has a slanted, doe-foot applicator (see photo below), that’s long and easy to maneuver across the lips. I did find that the applicator doesn’t get a lot of gloss on it, so it’s difficult to apply one full layer on lips with a single pull of gloss. It contains a good amount of gloss, too; it’s not all tube and little product inside.

Again, I loved this lipgloss, and it’s one I intend to purchase additional shades in. I am impressed by the length and quality of wear overall, but I review based on what a brand claims their product can do, not what I want it to do (or what I’m willing to forgive). While I have no problem with stickier glosses, since these are said to be non-sticky, it affected the texture rating, while the shortcomings in wear are reflected in the longevity (I considered 8 hours = perfect 10, so 5-6 hours of good wear means the brand fell short by about 30%). Characterstics of a product not specifically addressed quantify the overall product quality rating, which made sense to give 10, since it’s very moisturizing/hydrating, comfortable to wear, and had great shine.

The Glossover

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#505

B+
If you're a gloss fiend and are on the lookout for moisturizing, longer-wearing glosses, you might like Gloss d'Armani--if you don't mind some tackiness.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, July 4th, 2011

Guerlain Bal de Mai (160) Rouge Automatique Lipstick
Guerlain Bal de Mai (160) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Bal de Mai (160) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Bal de Mai (160) Rouge Automatique Lipstick ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium-dark, coral-red (that leans more pink than red) with subtle gold micro-shimmer and a slight shine to the finish. It has a little more than semi-opaque color coverage, as you can see just a hint of my lip freckle peeking through.  When I wore this alone, I had just under five hours of good, even wear, before it began to fade–better than average.

The formula is creamy without being thick or heavy, and it is actually a moisturizing formula.   It’s soft and feels like silk when applied.  I find these comparable to the Rouge G lipstick, though not as thick or as opaque, but still similar enough.  They’re $11 cheaper than the Rouge Gs, but the colors still have the same depth and nuanced shade range that makes Guerlain lipstick always standout to me.  To see more photos of the packaging, check out this post.  I did find that the slider on this particular tube was stiffer than others, which reduced the functionality/utility.

I found Chanel Flamboyante to be a little brighter and redder but still similar. It seems more like a slightly darker and more opaque MAC Viva Glam Cyndi.

The Glossover

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Bal de Mai

A
It's a wearable coral that leans a little pink as well as red but doesn't come off as orange or ultra bright. It should work well as a spring/summer color!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Guerlain Shalimar (166) Rouge Automatique Lipstick
Guerlain Shalimar (166) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Shalimar (166) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Shalimar (166) Rouge Automatique Lipstick ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a bright pop of strawberry pink with subtle pink and gold micro-shimmer. It’s slightly cool-toned with a subtle blue-base, but on me, it reads almost warm, which works out better for my skin tone. Shalimar is mostly opaque on lips with a rather slick finish that looks almost wet.  This is easily one of the best–in terms of quality–Rouge Automatiques I’ve tried so far.  It glides on like balm-meets-butter, but it doesn’t bleed or slide away.  It wears so well (five to six hours) and hangs on through drinks and lunch.

The formula is creamy without being thick or heavy, and it is actually a moisturizing formula.   It’s soft and feels like silk when applied.  I find these comparable to the Rouge G lipstick, though not as thick or as opaque, but still similar enough.  They’re $11 cheaper than the Rouge Gs, but the colors still have the same depth and nuanced shade range that makes Guerlain lipstick always standout to me.  To see more photos of the packaging, check out this post.

At first glance, it seems like this should be a relatively easy shade to dupe, but there is something about the luminosity and clarity of the color that makes it more difficult. I also think that the subtle blue-base, as opposed to a very blue-base, adds to that difficulty. Shades like MAC Gulabi (or Girl About Town) are brighter pinks with a bluer base. I thought MAC Full Fuchsia seemed more similar, because of the fuchsia sheen, but ultimately it is brighter and redder. MAC Pink Burst comes even closer in color–just more of a frosted finish. I am reminded of NARS Carthage, but when you compare them side-by-side, you can see that it’s clearly brighter, bluer, and doesn’t have the gold shimmer.

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Shalimar

A+
The way everything comes together in this lipstick makes it one of the best lipsticks I've tried--and it's not just the color--but the moisturizing quality of the lipstick paired with excellent wear, coverage, and smooth, effortless application.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011


Chanel Plumetis Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel Fall 2011: Plumetis Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel Plumetis Rouge Coco Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a soft pinked apricot that applies semi-sheer. It ends up looking rather peach on my lips, and it tends to mute my natural lip color and add warmth. It’s a softer version of Chanel Liberte. Rouge Cocos are described as hydrating, though I find them only somewhat moisturizing overall.

Plumetis only lasted two and half hours on me before fading, and it is a little drying, as compared to the creamier Rouge Cocos (like Etole).  I felt like the texture of this wasn’t as smooth as it should be–there was this unevenness that ended up translating onto my lips.  When applied, it seemed to accentuate every imperfection and gather in places.  For me, this was a real miss.

The Glossover

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Plumetis

C
The uneven application alone makes this a less-than-impressive offering from Chanel. It wears far below average (2.5 hours vs. 4 hours), and it's not moisturizing (when it should be).

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

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